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The X Factor

How Much Do The X Factor Judges Make?

The X Factor is set to bring in an astronomical amount of money for Fox and FremantleMedia this fall, including a jaw-dropping $60 million from sponsor Pepsi alone. So how much of that cold hard cash is going to the high-profile judging panel?

Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell is not only the big judge on campus, but he's also the big boss. As the creator and executive producer of The X Factor, Simon stands to earn some sweet back-end deal money on top of his judge’s salary: If The X Factor is a hit, Simon is reportedly looking at a $50 million payday. He could wear a new v-neck every day for the rest of his life! (Actually, the reality TV mogul can probably already afford that — he made $45 million in his final season on American Idol.)

Paula Abdul
It took a little more than Eau de Simon to lure Paula Abdul back to Fox. The former Idol judge is reportedly earning between $2 and $3 million this season. The one little kink? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paula refused to pay her agents at UTA their commission, claiming it was her relationship with Simon that landed The X Factor deal, not agency magic. Paula, who signed with UTA after she left Idol in 2009, immediately left UTA for CAA after signing her X Factor contract. CAA just so happens to represent Simon, too. Hmmm…

Nicole Scherzinger
The Pussycat Doll has remained hush-hush about her paycheck, but TV Guide reported that her panel predecessor, the dismissed Cheryl Cole, had a $1.5 million contract with the show, which she got to keep as a parting gift. Nicole, whose solo efforts have been relative duds, hit the gold mine when she was bumped up from co-host to judge.

Antonio "L.A." Reid
The music bigwig is also keeping quiet about his X Factor earnings, and he's keeping busy on the side. L.A. left his position as boss man at Island Def Jam to judge The X Factor, but now he's also heading up Sony's Epic Label Group. The X Factor winner gets a $5 million deal with Sony, though it hasn't been announced if that will be under L.A.'s watch. "Listen, I'm nobody's fool, I didn't give up my day job," L.A. told Hot 97 (via MTV) when rumors first swirled about his new gig at Epic.

Sources:,, The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV