The rumor mill keeps turning for the X Factor, though now at least it seems a little more substantive. EW reported last night that show creator Simon Cowell is getting closer to announcing his final lineup for X Factor, expected to be locked into place by May 8th. The judges mentioned were mostly what we expected: Cheryl Cole, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, and Cowell himself. The hosts now rumored, however, pack more of a punch—Nicole Scherzinger, whose involvement has been a long time coming, and the wild-card selection: Corbin Bleu, best known as the goofy-haired Chad Danforth from the High School Musical series, who frankly, we weren't even sure still existed.
To be fair, Bleu has gotten a fair amount of work since his HSM days, starring in the film Free Style (sample sentence of plot description from the Wiki summary: "He has always followed the choices chiestegli family, but since it is small in hatching a secret passion, debuting in the world of Motocross"—uh-huh), providing a voice for the straight-to-DVD release of The Little Engine That Could, and starring in the Broadway production In the Heights. Still, despite the diverse resumé, Bleu was never one of the literally dozens names we'd heard connected with the show, nor was he one we probably ever would have predicted—especially given that his most famous role is probably still fairly unfamiliar to anyone over the age of 20.
We're definitely intrigued, and if Simon gives him his hard-to-come-b seal of approval, we're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But between Bleu and Cole—and to a lesser extent, Scherzinger and Reid—there's a number of unknown quantities involved with this show now, which is pretty risky for a show with not one but now two successful, celebrity-laden music competition shows to compete with.