L.A. Reid, left, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and Britney Spears...

L.A. Reid, left, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and Britney Spears attend the Fox 2012 programming presentation post-show Party at Wollman Rink - Central Park in Manhattan.Lovato and Spears will be joining the two men as judges "X Factor." (May 14, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

You can finally put that word “judge” next to that name “Britney Spears:“ Fox just announced she and Demi Lovato will join “The X Factor” this fall as judges, in what will surely amount to one long Hail Mary to the end zone that will either be caught or not. And that, of course, begs the question: If you can't make “Factor” a hit with one of the biggest female pop stars in the world, well then .?.?. who?

She and Lovato joined L.A Reid and Simon Cowell on stage. Quoth Brit: She's thrilled to join up and “I'm ready to find the true star.“

In fact, Spears jump-started this announcement by about 20 minutes, sending out a Twitpic of her and her fellow judges before Simon and Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly told the crowd what they'd been expecting the moment they walked in the door.

Spears said in a statement, “I couldn't be more excited to join 'The X Factor' judging panel. I'm a huge fan of the show, and now I get to be a part of the action. Simon and L.A. better watch out!”

“I'm so thrilled to join this legendary group of judges on 'The X Factor,' ” Lovato said. “To be able to spend each week with Simon, L.A. and Britney watching the best that America has to offer is truly a dream come true.”

"Factor” didn't do all that poorly the first season — basically a victim of over-promise and over-hype. It got some buzz later in the season and some social media love, but it was still largely part of the background noise of TV entertainment as opposed to a show that stepped to the front of the stage to take command (much as “American Idol” used to do.)

Britney, it's now up to you.

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