Kelly Rowland may make a dramatic return to the X Factor, despite her tumultuous time on the show last year.
The former Destiny’s Child star has told friends she ‘loved the drama’ on the panel with fellow judges Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow.
The 30-year-old was embroiled in heated backstage rows with Tulisa accused her act, Misha B, of backstage bullying.
Kelly was also slated for flying back to Los Angeles with a sore throat and missing a week.
A source told The Sun that despite the troubles, Kelly was on a shortlist of potential female stars who could appear on the ITV show.
Six-time Grammy winner Adele is also on the list but insiders said it is not likely to happen as she is furious with ITV after bosses cut short her Best Album gong acceptance speech at the Brits.
A source said: ‘It seems to be taken as read that Kelly is not coming back but that is wrong. Simon Cowell and executive producer Richard Holloway were very pleased with her on last year’s show and would have her back. It’s at an early stage and discussions have yet to start. But Kelly is still very much in the mix.’
It had been reported that Kelly was fed up with the ‘circus’ around the series.
But a friend said: ‘Kelly had a great time and is actually very keen to come back.
‘She loved all the drama, even when it was pretty harsh against her. Kelly is a tough cookie and a few barbs from viewers or whoever is water off a duck’s back to her.
Yes, it was a draining experience and one she probably didn’t realise at the outset was going to be quite so gruelling.
‘But mentoring her acts — especially Misha B — was really rewarding for her and she loved it. Talks haven’t started but they will soon.’
Take That star Gary is in talks about reprising his role on the panel and Tulisa and Louis Walsh are believed to be returning.
Simon Cowell, who left the panel after the 2010 series, moving ti the US version, has also revealed he could make a comeback.
He said: ‘Maybe if we can move the dates around so I can do both shows in the future because I miss it. The other judges are not as good as me.’
An X-Factor spokesman said: ‘No decisions have been made on this year’s judging panel.’