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Cowell: ‘X Factor’ wants 2 female judges, 2 hosts

FILE - In this Sept. 14 2011 file image originally released by Fox judges from left Nicole Scherzinger SimCowell PaulAbdul

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2011 file image originally released by Fox, judges from left, Nicole Scherzinger, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and L.A. Reid attend "The X Factor" screening at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Cowell and Reid said Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, they are weighing new judges for the singing contest and two new hosts that will replace Abdul and Scherzinger. (AP Photo/FOX, Frank Micelotta, file)

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Updated: February 22, 2012 6:40PM

LOS ANGELES — Simon Cowell is playing it coy about rumors that Fergie, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson are being considered for “The X Factor.”

Two judges’ spots on the Fox TV singing contest opened up when Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger left after the first season. Cowell told a teleconference Wednesday that two women will replace them, but he declined to comment on who’s being considered.

Cowell says “The X Factor” has been contacted by people interested in joining the series, and meetings will be held during the next few weeks.

With host Steve Jones’ exit, Cowell says he wants to switch to a two-host format. He didn’t say who might be hired.

“The X Factor” is based on Cowell’s hit British show. It returns for its second season this fall.

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