SIMON COWELL has tapped MARIAH CAREY to join him as a judge in the U.S. version of popular British talent show THE X FACTOR.

The former American Idol judge left the hit series earlier this year (10) to focus on developing The X Factor brand for the U.S.

Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger and British singer Cheryl Cole have been named among the early favourites for the revamped show's judging panel, although Cowell's spokesperson told the New York Post last month (Sep10) it was "too early" to confirm their involvement.

But the TV mogul has made it clear he wants Carey on board.

Cowell tells Britain's News of the World, "Mariah Carey would be an amazing addition to the U.S. show. And she's exactly the right caliber of star that we want for the show."