The show has been courting Spears for the gig after both Paula Abdul and
Nicole Scherzinger were fired. Other musicians who have been linked to the position include Janet Jackson (she declined), LeAnn Rimes and Avril Lavigne.
Nobody from FOX, “The X Factor” or Spears’ camp are commenting.
The big problem here is that Spears has “The X Factor” folks and FOX over a barrel. With Jackson passing on the gig, the singing competition can ill-afford to have many more high-profile rejections. The show is currently third in a three horse race – behind “American Idol” and “The Voice.” And when word leaks out (you can guess from who) that “The X Factor” is having trouble getting its first or second choice talent, this is hardly a compelling sell for advertisers and viewers.
Now it’s entirely possible that the show and Spears will split the difference on this. But if they can’t come to an agreement and “The X Factor” has to go on to their next option, their bargaining position weakens. Sure $10 million is a lot for Spears to leave on the table. But it’s also important to note that her net worth is estimated at $155 million, so it’s not the end of the world. She’s also not short on options, including a reported ongoing Las Vegas gig.
Public salary negotiations can be a dangerous exercise, especially when a potential franchise is at risk. Hopefully everyone will learn this lesson before it’s too late.