At a press conference Monday afternoon in New York, Fox confirmed that 30-year-old megastar Britney Spears and 19-year-old former Disney singer Demi Lovato will be the new celebrity judges on season two of The X Factor, which returns fall 2012.
"I'm ready to find a true star," Spears told reporters. For her part, Lovato said she's "excited to represent her generation."
Simon Cowell's reality singing competition series debuted stateside last year to promising ratings and ended up pulling in 12.4 million viewers for its December finale. That's a far cry from the 20 million people who tuned in to watch last year's American Idol finale, but still more than 11.6 million fans who tuned in to watch The Voice wrap-up its second season last week.
On May 9, it was reported that Spears would join the "X Factor" panel, but until today, Fox had yet to confirm the news. With Britney behind the judges' table, X Factor ratings are almost guaranteed a bump—thus the $15 million paycheck for one season's worth of work she's reportedly getting paid.
Spears and Lovato replace Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who were unceremoniously booted after one season. Per the show's format, the two pop stars will do more than just pass judgment on hopefuls: They'll actually be competing against returning judges Cowell and L.A. Reid. Each judge will coach one of four groups (Girls, Boys, Groups, Over 30s) in an effort to produce the season's winner.