Simon Cowell Simon Cowell

Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey and Nicole Scherzinger are on the short list to become judges on The X Factor, Simon Cowell told Access Hollywood.

"We've taken it down to a smaller group of people and she's in that panel," he said of his former American Idol colleague. "But, you know, it's more than me who makes the decision."

George Michael also is in contention. Cowell said he's reaching out to big names as well as receiving calls.

The X Factor to allow Facebook voting

"And that's why it's good to kind of delay the process ... you genuinely gotta trust that they're gonna be able to do the job you're paying them to do," Cowell said. "And like I said, a hit maker, who worked in America and has had experience, I think is crucial to this panel as well."

Two names you won't see added to the show: Katy Perry and Elton John. "Well, he's so grumpy nowadays ... he'd just be moaning the whole time," Simon said of John.

Who do you want to see as a judge on The X Factor?