X Factor has its double search

For "The X Factor," a double search is starting.

On one hand, new contestants can start lining up for the second season. Auditions start March 1 online and March 14 in person. (See www.thexfactorusa.com.)

On the other, there's the search for two more judges.Today (Wednesday), Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid said:

-- Both judges will be female; that's "100 percent sure," Cowell said.

-- There will be two hosts -- a man and woman -- instead of one. Chances are, Cowell said, both will be known for something else, not hosting. Also, "it's important there are more Americans on the show."

-- The talk of Whitney Houston judging was promising, but "it never got to that point" of specific talks, Reid said.

-- Other top names have been tossed around, including Britney Spears, Fergie and Janet Jackson. Cowell ducked questions on them; the first step, he said, came when he waited to see who contacted the show.

-- The first-year contestants are lining up record deals. The latest came today, with 14-year-old Rachel Crow signing with most the Columbia radio and the Nickelodeon network.

-- And no, Cowell doesn't expect Ryan Seacrest to jump to his show. "He's a brilliant negotiator. He'll stay on 'Idol.'"