X Factor panel to feature 5 judges?

Simon Cowell will return to 'The X Factor' with all of last year's judges; Tulisa Contostavlos, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh

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Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell will return to 'The X Factor' with all of last year's judges.

Former pop star Sinitta - the 52-year-old music mogul's best pal - has revealed the show boss will sit alongside Tulisa Contostavlos, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh on the panel of the ITV1 series when it returns to screens later in the year, despite rumours a number of them were quitting.

She said: "Simon plans to be back, along with last year's judges, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh. But he won't be able to return full time because he's so busy.

"He likes winning, so he's set on beating 'Strictly' in the ratings."

The 'So Macho' hitmaker - who has accompanied both Simon and Louis at the Judges' Houses stage of the competition in previous years - admitted late singer Whitney Houston would be the ideal choice for the US 'X Factor', but she is also keen on troubled star Britney Spears joining the panel.

She told Closer magazine: "Whitney would have made the most fantastic judge. But now my money's on Britney. She's had tons of hits and certainly knows the music industry inside out."

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