Brit singer, Estelle, is being eyed up by Cowell as a replacement for Kelly Rowland on the X Factor panel.
The American Boy songstress, 32, is in talks with the square-haired mogul as the ITV talent show wagon rolls into action again, making preparations for audition rounds which begin in Spring.
A source told The Sun: “Estelle’s name is very high on his list now and serious enquiries have been made as to her availability for auditions in May.”
The former Destinyâs Child singer is rumoured to have told Cowell that she needs time to focus on her solo career in America.
But after her explosive relationship with fellow panellist Tulisaâ¦and Gary, sometimesâ¦and actually Louis as wellâ¦it comes as no real surprise that the American beauty is planning to bow out for the 2012 run.
Newbie judges Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos have been offered pay rises to return to the show. Louis will, of course, be returning to the show that he has now been âjudgingâ? since before most of the members of One Direction were born.