Report: X Factor Shakes Up Judges! Cheryl Cole Out? Nicole Scherzinger In?

Cheryl Cole, the fellow Brit X Factor judge who followed Simon Cowell to the US offshoot, has reportedly been ousted from Fox series by none other than Nicole Scherzinger — aka the former Pussycat Doll who was set to serve as the American edition’s co-host.

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There’s no word on what exactly caused the supposed shakeup — though by one account, it may have been a concern that Cole’s heavy accent would be hard for American viewers to understand, coupled with a lack of chemistry with fellow judge Paula Abdul. Whatever the case, TMZ hears that it was only recently decided, just two weeks into the judges’ oversight of the audition rounds, to have Scherzinger join Cowell and famed music producer L.A. Reid at the dais when the reality competition series makes its debut this September.

A Fox spokesperson did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

If Scherzinger has moved to the judging table, it is speculated that Brit personality Steve Jones will act as the sole emcee of X Factor.

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110 Comments
  1. JohnDoe says:

    Wow…can’t wait to NOT watch now.

    • Al says:

      I agree. After months of speculation, Cheryl was FINALLY confirmed as a judge. Now she’s out? Well done FOX, well done. I will NOT be watching in September… unless Cheryl is sitting at that table that is.

      • TvGuruAU says:

        Agreed, Cheryl Cole getting the gig was great news. She’s a great judge and entertaining with her little quips.

        This is a big fail on the part of FOX. Paula, Simon AND Cole was a triple win.

        • Laurien says:

          I. AM. PISSED.

        • charlie says:

          Paula a ‘win’????? Ditz Paula was a horrible judge on Idol. On X Factor she will be expected to be judge and mentor. I pity the contestants that she mentors. I’ll give the show a shot, but I’m not expecting much.

      • Harry says:

        I absolutely agree that saga dragged in forever, and now to do this?? I will not be watching ANY FOX shows ever again if this is true.

        • Get Real says:

          Really! Do you promise!

          You know all you whiners will be watching and the day after be thinking “Cheryl who?”

          • Tego Livi says:

            You can bet I won’t be watching…..of course, I wasn’t going to watch it anyway. I don’t see why people even care who the “judges” are. Aren’t these shows about the performers?

      • kiki kiddo says:

        Agree wtf… why in the world fox replace the gorgeous talented Cheryl Cole to Nicole. I wouldn’t mind listening to her accent compare to nicole’s voice

    • A says:

      Seriously! How dumb do they think us Americans are?? Her accent is NOT that thick. I can understand her perfectly fine thank you very much.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      Well, let’s look at what the Brits have done so far on TV? Piers Morgan anyone? He’s not pulling numbers higher than what Larry King did.
      There was an issue with Cheryl coming over in the first place, and the gossips said that she practically begged Simon to take her with him — they used to be girl-boyfriend.
      And yes, the accent would be a problem. I can’t understand the Brits when they talk, even though it’s “English”. Can anybody understand Ozzie Osbourne and Keith Richards when they talk. Big problem.

      • True (G)Brit says:

        Sorry you don’t understand the Brits?there are plenty of Brits who have come over and assimilated erm isn’t Cowell one? What about Hugh Laurie heck he’s as British as it gets and fooled you all with his accent. Crazy person!

        • timshel says:

          Love it!

        • Liliana says:

          @True (G) Brit… you know there’s a BIG difference in accents and dialect within GB alone, so they can’t be compared. Yes, Hugh Laurie has a British accent, but note: HE IMITATES AN AMERICAN ONE ON HOUSE. Simon doesn’t have a Newcastle/Geordie accent like Cole. And have you ever had a foreign professor? It takes a special kind of person and a long time to adapt to it, to not be distracted more by the accent than words, even if it’s comprehensible.

          I mean, I REALLY adore Cheryl, and would have loved to watch her, but let’s face it, that’s not the typical American. We’re not used to watching actors without any flavor of American accent on the television. Most of us commenting on this thread only did so because we’re interested in Cheryl, so the feedback here is pretty one-sided. The general population probably wouldn’t take well to her strong accent and dialect. Wonderful on the UK version, but she doesn’t have the name recognition here as much as Nicole does for the general popn. I think it was a good move, but am sorry for Cheryl.

      • Noelbelle says:

        To compare all English people to two incoherent, drugged-out old men is utterly ignorant and offensive. There are plenty of Americans whose accents I can’t for the life of me understand and I’ve lived here my entire life. How would you like it if all American voices were compared to ODB or the cast of Jersey Shore or even (to reference a semi-coherent talent show judge) Steven Tyler? Sound ridiculous? That’s cuz it is.

        • Cdawg says:

          ODB? God I wish he were still alive. And hell, if he was a judge on one of these stupid singing talent shows, I’d watch just to hear ODB. A person can only be lucky to be compared to such a man.

    • ReMMeZ says:

      The show is not that good- seen it to many times in the netherlands adnd UK.. People believe me ‘The Voice’ is better. It came here to destroy idol and x-factor and guess what it did.

      VCheryl and Nicole are both famous for beeing beautifull – not for beeing good or even believeable artistst. So what the fuzz. Both will be OUT before the show starts especially Nicol. Simon hates her guts so i really think she shouldn’t talk so much blabla. She will not be there in september.. Cole maybey Nicole.. in her own wet dream perhaps. I hate the bimbo allready.. what a pile of sh..

      • Delon says:

        Simon, DOES NOT hate her guts. Quite the opposite. If you were really a regular X Factor viewer you would’ve known that last season Nicole filled in for Cheryl when she was down with malaria and Simon & Nicole got along famously. When i was watching her guest stint on the show i thought Simon was actually auditioning her for the US version. This is absolutely the correct decision.

  2. Rolfe says:

    Nicole will not be a good judge! We need someone who will give real critics!

  3. Nat says:

    I’m really surprised by this news, but I guess the Paula-Simon dynamic made better TV, and without him to bounce off Cheryl might have faded into the background. I’m actually sort of pleased about this news – Nicole guest judged on British X Factor last season and did a surprisingly fantastic job. I actually preferred her to Cheryl, so I think this is a good decision.

    • darclyte says:

      I’m betting that they replaced Cheryl because her accent is just too thick. Fox was concerned that she’s fairly unknown here and has a strong accent but let Simon give her a chance. I bet the singers had trouble understanding her, and so did the Fox execs. Since Steve Jones is unknown here, and also British, I wouldn’t be surprised if they replace him too. I don’t know why they need 2 hosts and 4 judges…3 judges & 1 host have been proven to work best.

      • DonMI says:

        They need 4 judges because each judge mentors one of the 4 categories in the competition. I think they chose to have 2 hosts only because the Brit version has 2 hosts. The big difference is that the Brit hosts were a comedy team prior to the show.

        • Fjóla says:

          there is only one host in the Brit version. I think you’re getting confused with Ant & Dec who hosted the Pop Idol and are now hosting Britain’s Got Talent. The guy who hosts the Brit version of X Factor is Dermot O’Leary.

        • Paris says:

          You are getting confused with Britains Got Talent (Ant & Dec.) Our version, the UK X Factor only has one host: Dermot O Leary. Gutted that Cheryls’ been dropped. Major fail.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      4 judges again…it won’t work. There won’t be enough time for the contestants.

  4. TheReasonsY says:

    Would love to know how this will affect Nicole’s Sing Off duties. Or did they tell us and I just not care?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Thus far there has been zero mention of Nicole (nor any judging talent) in relation to the coming season of THE SING-OFF.

      • Chatty says:

        Matt, when you find out who will replace her on The Sing-Off, could you please let us know? I love that show! Thank you.

      • Ace says:

        Thanks for the update, Matt. I really hope The Sing-Off keeps Ben and Sean. They both have a great combination of experience, technical knowledge, and charisma.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Simon and Paula dynamic certainly makes for better TV.IMO.
    I think Nicole will be a fantastic job!! Im excited for the show more now!

  6. N says:

    LOVE Simon and Paula and as long as they’re on, I’ll watch the show and love it. :) Best of luck to Cheryl as for Nicole, I think she’ll be just fine as a judge. :)

  7. Jason C. says:

    Nicole will not be returning to The Sing Off. I’ve read that in numerous places. I think she’ll be fine — but I’d wager they’ll choose an additional co-host to go with Jones. Very much looking forward to the return of Simon Cowell after (in my opinion) a horrendous season of American Idol.

    • Bailey says:

      I agree American Idol could not have been worse if Ellen and Kara were on, the show is just terrible now. X Factor is the new thing to watch. ha.

    • maggie says:

      AI has been terrible this year. The judges haven’t done any actual judging.

  8. Sam says:

    Simon and Paula is where its at!! :)I agree with the person who posted Cheryl would just fade to the background and its true. Besides she’s hard to understand sometimes and american audiences would find it annoying, i think.

  9. John says:

    I watched 3 seasons of X Factor online, and one Cheryl Cole on a show is worth more than all the past, present & future Pussycat Dolls together. This is a real shame.

    • tvlover44 says:

      I only watched this past season of X factor, but based on that, I disagree. Cheryl bored me to tears (and her love for contestant Cher was annoying beyond belief), and Nicole actually did a wonderful job when she sat in as a guest judge. I think this is a smart decision and one that will make the show more enjoyable.

      • Fjóla says:

        Last season was kinda bad for Cheryl. I liked Nicole just fine when she was a guest judge during the audition rounds, but I’m concerned how she will do with mentoring and choosing songs for the singers in her category

  10. Dreama says:

    I was actually going to watch this show just because of Cheryl Cole. If I wanted to watch Simon and Paula, I would have watched American Idol when they were on that.

    Sorry X Factor, if Cheryl Cole has been ousted, then you have lost one viewer before you even debuted.

  11. Anthony says:

    If this is true then I won’t watch …Only reason I wanted X-Factor here was for Cheryl with out and having old and played out Paula on then nope won’t watch ….Damn I was looking forward to it too …oh well more free time to watch other things.

  12. Chris says:

    This is ridiculous. I was looking forward to Cheryl. Don’t know if I’ll even watch now.

  13. Clarissa says:

    Whooo! I think Nicole will be a great judge! She did guest judging in the UK XFactor and did very well. I think her dynamic with LA Paula and Simon will be awesome.

    Simon and Paula are fun to watch!

    • Delon says:

      So true!

    • Fjóla says:

      I agree she did OK as a guest judge during the audition rounds on the UK version, but I’m worried how she will be as a mentor and coach to the contestants, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

  14. Lily says:

    Now I’m more excited to watch!!:D I’m looking forward to Nicole as a judge!! I love her!! I was excited for her to host but judging?! YAY!I know she’ll do great! <3

  15. Erin says:

    Well…guess I won’t be watching this show after all. Cheryl’s presence is what has had me excited about this show for so long. The announcement that she was indeed a judge had me over the moon. Without her, I honestly don’t think I’ll tune in. I think this is a BAD move FOX.

  16. Matt says:

    NO! Now we (the British) will have Cheryl back! Please keep her Simon, please.

  17. Kyrjar says:

    R u people kidding me. I was horrified to hear Paula was on. She was incoherent half the time on Idol. Idol was stale and now we have Simon and Paula teasing each other again on a talent show. Time for something new. Not a repeat of the worst part of Idol.

  18. sarah says:

    Ugh. No Chezza, then this viewer isn’t watching. Simon, that drunk one and a Pussycat Doll aren’t enough for me.

  19. Dan says:

    Didn’t Nicole already get Corbin Bleu kicked out of the host gig?

  20. Lew says:

    That totally sucks..I was looking forward to Cheryl. I like Nicole and everything but she hasnt even been able to sucessfully launch her solo career here in the US and Cheryl has more X-Factor expierience and seems more likable as a judge/mentor.

  21. Kail says:

    Simon and Paula!I love them!
    Sad to see Cheryl go, but I’m still watching it! Fall is so far away but this is the show to watch.

  22. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    If I may interject…. To me the question is, if this IS true, HOW can it be true? What on earth could have happened? Obvs Cheryl Cole knows what she is doing as an X FACTOR judge. So what could have transpired to trigger her exit/such a switcheroo?

    • Cal says:

      A lot of people predicted that audiences wouldn’t take well to her since she’s hard to understand. Also that since american’s don’t know who she is she would fade to the background. But who knows.

      • erin says:

        Uhh, she’s actually not that hard to understand. I find some people with southern/country accents more difficult to understand than her. People just use that as an excuse as to why she doesn’t fit here. They used it before it was announced she would be a judge and now people are going to be saying it’s why she’s gone. I find it ridiculous.

    • Matt says:

      It’s to do with the trouble that the British show is now in.

    • Alex says:

      People loved her at the auditions and I heard from multiple reports that her accent was not an issue. She has fans in the US, they’ve been at the at the auditions and thought there was great chemistry with the judges. She got on well with Paula. Why do the Upfronts if they were going to fire her? This is so weird. I can’t understand how this happened.

  23. Matt says:

    Actually, this is about the UK version, not the US one.

    3 judges have gone from the UK version (Simon, Cheryl and, the best, Dannii), so now we have one judge, who is a bit of a buffoon. Simon wouldn’t want to damage the programme where it is most successful at the moment (18m for a finale….in the UK), so he’s shipping Cheryl back over so ratings for ITV can stand up.

    You won’t be missing much though.

    • Anonymous says:

      This makes sense. I honestly don’t know why some people on here won’t watch if Cheryl isn’t on, no offense to her (or them)but to american audiences she is no one. I’ve also watched some of her interviews and I think her accent is very heavy and hard to understand.

  24. Christina says:

    Wow, didn’t see this coming. But I’m pretty sure as to why this happened. Cheryl simply wasn’t a fit. She’s a unknown with a heavy accent to an American audience. The Fox executives never wanted her, it was Simon who pulled for her. It looks like the Fox executives put their foot down.

  25. Al says:

    Well done FOX, well done. After months of speculation, fans were finally excited to learn Cheryl Cole was going to judge along side Mr. Cowell. If FOX execs went through all this trouble to get Cheryl on the panel, why are they now replacing her with a “singer” who hasn’t really been able to shed the label of “Lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls”. I will admit, I loved Nicole on DWTS, but as a judge, not so much. Cheryl would have made the show a hit. Sorry FOX, but I will not be watching in the fall.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Seriously who cares?! i don’t even know who Cheryl Cole is. I’m just glad Simon and Paula are back on my screen.

  27. Ashley says:

    The ONLY reason I was going to watch this was for Cheryl. If I wanted to watch Simon and Paula, I’d have watched American Idol. Cheryl is amazing and I’m glad to see I’m not alone in this feeling. Way to go, X-Factor and FOX. Making another ridiculous decision.

  28. Anonymous says:

    According to another news report Cheryl Cole was let go due to her heavy accent and lack of chemistry with Paula Abdul (and according to the report Cheryl was more “expandable”). Also, The UK version is need of a judge and Cheryl was “underqualified” for the American panel anyway.

    • Anthony says:

      If this is true, then Simon is an IDIOT. picking the bat poop crazy & heavily medicated Paula over Cheryl. He’s been half-assing both shows and I kinda hope that they both tank now. Simon don’t believe your own hype.

  29. Diane says:

    I think this is the most ridiculous thing. I’m American (southern at that) , I know who Cheryl Cole is (at least I know her name and face), and I can understand every word she says. So both reasons why they got rid of her are invalid in my opinion. I don’t like Nicole. She has no talent, and she hasn’t become any more popular as a solo artist. She needs to go back to the co-host spot and give Cheryl her seat back.

    • Kate says:

      I dont meant to offend but are you deaf? AS A Brit and a singer I haved strongly disliked Cheryl Cole because she has got everywhere based on her looks and her ability (most of the time) to lipsync well, there is no natural singing ability there!
      Nicole Sherzinger might have an annoying personality’s but that girl has a bloody good set of pipes and worked her ass off to get where she is now to call her talentless just means you have never listened to the woman sing or you are deaf!

  30. Carol says:

    I think Nicole should replace Brooke Burke on DWTS.She would getmuch more air time.

  31. Krissy says:

    I don’t think American audiences will care…no offense. Cheryl Cole is no one here. I’m sorry. I think Nicole will do just fine.

    • Anthony says:

      Everyone I talk who actually watch the sing-off says shes sucks as a judge on that show.

      • del says:

        Well, now you’re talking to me, and I can tell you she is a good judge on The Sing-Off. She has positive critiques for the groups, but also delivers negative comments constructively. She knows her musical techniques and can talk about them to the various groups. I enjoyed watching her for the two seasons on The Sing-Off. Not sure I will follow X Factor, depends on the scheduled time, but she will be a decent judge.

  32. Yesenia says:

    I’m very disappointed to hear that Cheryl is out. I was looking forward to seeing her and Paula alongside Simon Cowell. If Nicole does take over I won’t be as interested in the show.

  33. destiny says:

    did people actually LISTEN to cheryl talking? her accent is just fine and honestly, at one point people were commenting about her LOSING her accent cause she spent so much time in the US while being with derek hough. fox spent MONTHS to get to know cheryl and now all of a sudden she gets kicked out? i think something’s fishy …

  34. mike says:

    Might you folks be making too big a deal out of this? She was there working with them and someone decided it wasn’t working out. Judging by her sourpuss in recent press photos, it was she who made that decision. I’m sure they’re paying her a pretty penny to leave and she’s probably happy about it. And honestly, this is an American TV show so having judges who are recognizable to an American audience is pretty important. I can’t wait to watch the show. I’ve been sick of American Idol since the introduction of Kara…so it’ll be nice to have a reality competition I can be interested in. Plus, Simon & Paula reunited! Pretty sure the shows gonna do just fine!

    • Anthony says:

      Only reason we were going to put w/ Paula was because of Cheryl, Now w/ only Paula and w/ a boring Pussycat Doll (yes boring, watched her on the X-Factor UK and she wasn’t very good)means see ya Simon. Missed him on Idol, but not enough to put up w/ Paula again.

  35. Nicole says:

    This is ridiculous. I was at the LA auditions and Cheryl was easy to understand. If she really is gone from the show, there has to be some other reason because it’s not her accent. Even with that crazy outfit she was wearing, she was still so pretty and charming and the American audience would have grown to love her. I’ve seen the british X Factor online, and she is a great mentor to her group as well an honest judge of talent w/out being insensitive like simon can be at times. If Nicole replaces her it would be a mistake. She is still known as the lead singer of pussycat dolls! Both Cheryl and Nicole had similar beginnings on reality singing competitions, but unlike Cheryl, Nicole has not been able to make a true name for herself outside of her group. I wish FOX would have given Cheryl a chance, she is far more likable than Nicole. I’m not sure I plan on watching the US X Factor anymore.

  36. Aurore says:

    I don’t really watch the show so I don’t care but her accent isn’t that bad.

  37. Mel says:

    Woohoo finally the producers have seen the light!!! Cheryl tweedy soo long farewell:) hope she doesn’t take her rage out on a bathroom attendant:) lol

    • Rudy says:

      Really 8 years later you still need to bring that up? Really? And her name is not Tweedy anymore, it’s COLE. What is it with you brits ? So hateful. You should be happy one of your own is having success overseas, not celebrate their misfortune.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Everyone needs to stop trying to make Nicole Serizing-whatever happen!!!

  39. deedeedragons says:

    This has EVERYTRHING to do with the sinking ship that is the original X Factor & nothing to do with Paula or accents.

  40. deedeedragons says:

    OOPS! Everything.

  41. Zi says:

    She didn’t have any chemistry with Dannii Minogue either and that worked out fine.

  42. Jared says:

    That is such a crap move! Based off of her accent?! Really?! You mean you’re just now thinking this might be a problem after you’ve been working on this US version of the show for over a year now, AND the producers have known and worked with Cheryl for years?!?!

    I feel bad for Cheryl and I know not one thing about her! Give the girl a break. She LITERALLY left her entire life behind across the seas to come to the US for this show.

    Now I will def not be watching, just for the bad judge of character on the producers hands!

  43. Dan says:

    I’m sorry…her accent is fine.

    As is she.

  44. Mia says:

    Well this just pisses me off!!! I am American and live in the U.S. AND I was so excited that Cheryl Cole was going to be part of the judges panel in the U.S. version of the X Factor because I am a fan of hers actually!!! GRRRR, this is BS!!!! Fox better fix this because if I am not going to be watching Cheryl, Simon and Paula sitting in that judges table together- I am definitely not watching!!!

  45. Guy says:

    This is bullsh!t. Cheryl should be there. The only other reason i could see her not there is that she has been moved back to X Factor UK because Danni Minogue has left but if not then FOX you are a bunch of morons. She should stay. Not happy at all. All its doing for you FOX is generating negative publicity.

  46. Jisella says:

    Oh please, For those people that say they won’ t be watching just because they axed Cheryl get real. You know you’ll be watching. If anything it’ll be better for having Nicole as the Judge.
    I am glad that they changed it up, and am looking forward to Nicole being the judge. I absolutely love her. She is a great singer, great dancer, and I believe she would be a better fit.

    I googled and YT Cheryl and wasn’t aware that not only was she a judge in X Factor in England, she was in this little GG called Girls Aloud, can’t say I like them or their music. Cheryl like Nicole is the front runner in her band, except the only different is that Nicole actually has talent in the field of music.

    Here is the video of her with her GA members that I found on YT. Although the 3 at the bottom (her in the middle) come across very, well you see for yourself…

  47. jediknightcub says:

    Nicole Scherzinger was going to be a co-host and now she’s going to be a mentor/judge?! Are you kidding me?! Ridiculous decision. Cheryl Cole’s been through a singing competition and she’s a great mentor for this competition. [See Alexandra Burke.] If the problem is Cheryl not being understood by Americans–which is, in and of itself, shameful and embarrassing–give her freakin’ subtitles. If it’s a live show, get the closed captioning people on it. I really hope Simon fights for Cheryl. If she’s worth having, she’s worth fighting for.

  48. Eoin says:

    Publicity stunt much?Simon fired someone on the UK show for publicity once I say Cheryl has been signed up for the UK show all along and just done a couple of auditions and then get axed.Major publicity for the show,Nicole(who is trying to launch a solo career) and Cheryl (who is dying to have her music in the US charts).

  49. Bob says:

    Still not sure why Simon wanted co-hosts in the first place. Didn’t he learn anything from Idol’s first season? As for her moving to the judge’s table, boy is THAT a mistake.

  50. barbara says:

    I had enough of Idol and did not watch the finale episodes due to the lack of coherent judging. I mean they have Jennifer Lopez, autotuned to the extent that the neighbor’s dog would sound like a halfway decent singer. Nicole Scherzinger is not talented enough as a singer or performer to be judging or mentoring anyone. Her act is one grade up from a stripper. I was looking forward to X Factor after swearing off Idol, but now I’m not so sure. And by the way, I can understand Cheryl Cole just fine.

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