“As we enter the final furlong of the race for US X Factor judge, two new names have crept up on the outside.
Although Simon Cowell is expected to reveal the full line-up within the next few days, last-minute contenders Jesse McCartney and Julianne Hough held formal auditions with Fox executives this week.
Both have what it takes to succeed. Singer-songwriter-actor-all-round teen-heartthrob Jesse, 25, co-wrote Leona Lewis’ hit single, Bleeding Love, so is already pretty cosy with Cowell.Meanwhile Country star, Julianne, below, is Derek’s baby sister – yep, as in the Derek going out with heavily-tipped US judge Cheryl Cole.
Oh, and just to complicate things further, Julianne is dating Ryan Seacrest, host of rival series, American Idol, Cowell’s old show and now overseen by his arch enemy, Simon Fuller.
I’m told: “Simon believes Jesse has the right look for the show, and would appeal to both grans and young girls. While Julianne looks fantastic on camera and has quite a high profile in the States.
“Cheryl would love Julianne to be involved as they’ve met through Derek. She’d like a friendly face on board.””