Britney Spears talks American Idol and her new gig on The X Factor

Britney Spears says if she wasn't already engaged for the coming TV season, she'd happily have entertained an American Idol judging spot.

"I would have loved that," the music superstar says as she prepares to debut as a judge for Season 2 of FOX's The X Factor starting Wednesday, Sept. 12. Just as Idol is in for another big overhaul, having lost Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez in the past week, the X Factor judging panel will be half-new . . . with Spears and Demi Lovato joining series mentor Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid.

"I feel like it brings a whole new energy to the show, definitely," reasons Spears, who already has been involved in contestant auditions for several weeks. "Nicole [Scherzinger] and Paula [Abdul] were really great, but to have such a dramatic change, I'll bet this even made Simon and L.A. nervous.

"That was what they had been used to, then these two new girls come in. I don't know how it'll be perceived, but it's been fun for us. I've been having a blast."

Spears empathizes with X Factor contenders, since the competition Star Search was part of her own career beginnings. "I would be extremely nervous, probably, if I'd really never done anything before and it was my first time to perform in front of 4,000 people," she reflects of watching auditions in such cities as San Francisco and Providence (R.I.). "I'm sure it's pretty nerve-racking."

As for herself, the artist behind such hits as " . . . Baby One More Time," "Oops! . . . I Did It Again," "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and "Gimme More" certainly is no stranger to being in the spotlight.

Her X-Factor stint is certain to amp that up, and she admits, "I hope I'm ready. I don't really know what to expect at this point, so I'm just taking it one day at a time.