The brutal honesty and withering put-downs the former Spice Girl, known as "Scary Spice," gave to auditioners impressed executives at show-creator Simon Cowell's Syco Television so much that she became their first choice for this year's talent contest, the British tabloid The Sun reported.
But Brown, 37, was committed to completing the Australian "X Factor" season with judges Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian, Irish recording artist Ronan Keating and Australian actress Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
The British version signed Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger to join British singer-songwriter Tulisa Contostavlos for this season, the newspaper said.
But Syco TV still wants "Mel B" for 2013, a source told the newspaper.
"Mel was our first choice," the source said. "She was so quick and honest. You can't let everyone down gently or the praise is meaningless.
"There's a lot of money on the table for her next year."