Simon Says of Cheryl Cole's X Factor Exit: She Didn't Seem Happy on U.S. Version

Simon Cowell is finally speaking out about that behind-the-scenes X Factor kerfuffle involving “one of his closest friends,” Cheryl Cole. Brace yourselves, it gets kind of emotional.

It’s Official: Nicole Scherzinger Will Replace Cheryl Cole on U.S. X Factor

In a candid chat with the Associated Press, Cowell scoffs at claims that the British beauty’s too-thick accent or lack of chemistry with fellow judge Paula Abdul factored into her X Factor exit. Rather, after observing Cole dip her toe into the Stateside X Factor waters, he “genuinely” believed she’d be happier back home on the original U.K. series.

“Not many people will believe that, but that’s the truth,” Cowell said. “She was good on the American show, [but] I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just looked a little bit… I wouldn’t say uncomfortable, but just not as happy as I’ve seen her on previous shows.”

The former American Idol captain revealed that plans to keep Cole on the British X Factor were all but complete until word of her sudden ouster from the Fox offshoot leaked to the press. Then things went south… fast.

“I hate seeing her hurt,” he offered. “She’s one of — I hope — my closest friends, and this was a decision we made which we thought would be beneficial to her, funny enough.”

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Cowell, who takes “full responsibility” for this X Factor debacle, said he has been in touch with Cole only once, via text message, since news of the switch-up broke a little over a week ago. “She told me she wasn’t happy but that she also accepted it was a business decision and she wished the show well,” he shared. “Typically, in Cheryl form, she was disappointed but charming at the same time.”

Despite everything that’s gone on between Cowell and Cole, the reality kingpin is eager to put the fiasco in the past and move forward — hopefully with the sassy songstress by his side, in come capacity.

Expressed Cowell, “I always, always would hold the door open to work with her again.”

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  1. Jason says:

    Having seen Nicole on many of these shows, she’s cold as ice in how she presents herself. Cheryl was warm and inviting. If they were going to replace Cheryl, couldn’t they at least have tapped someone else to come in?

    I really hope X-Factor US doesn’t bomb. I’ve been looking forward to our version for years, even before it was announced, but I’m getting less and less excited as time goes on.

    • charlie says:

      I too was hoping X Factor US would turn out to be a great show, and make Idol look like an also-ran. I like the X Factor UK format of having the auditions in front of a live audience and having the judges also serve as mentors and having groups as well as solo artists in various age groups and genders. The production values with the accompanying dancers on some numbers also adds great interest to the show. Finally the voting/judging makes more sense with the public voting and the judges deciding who among the bottom contestants will leave.
      I was shocked that Cowell would have Paula as a judge/mentor since she showed herself to be mostly a complete ditz on American Idol. I feel sorry for the contestants that get her as a mentor. I don’t know the other judges, but I hope they are a lot better than Paula.

  2. Mike says:

    Bull, he’s just trying to save face.

  3. t.t says:

    big mistake simon
    cheryl would’ve added fresh air
    now its like season 8 of idol
    u paula kara (Nicole: cold awkward), and the token black guy

  4. Who Cares says:

    Nobody cares about ANOTHER crappy reality singing show. Well at least I don’t, sure there are countless numbers of idiots waiting to see this crap, which is sad.

  5. Mel says:

    I am so glad no one has ever fired me at a job after my first awkward four days.
    Ellen was terrible for a whole season and no one fired her. This is all a bunch of crap.

  6. Carissa says:

    The funny thing is, I was genuinely excited for The X Factor when Cheryl was announced as a judge. I have watched the UK versions on YouTube & was really intrigued by her. She is charming & feisty all at the same time. I also watched Nicole when she was guesting on the UK version, and honestly there is just no spark there. If you watch both, you can feel the difference. Cheryl lights up the screen with just one look. All of this “she’s out, she’s in, she’s out…” hoopla has really turned me off of our version of The X Factor. So much drama & it hasn’t even aired once yet. I do wish the best for Cheryl, as she has had to deal with much negativity through the media. Hope for nothing but a big breakthrough here in America!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you for saying what I wanted to say far better than I could ever hope to say it. :)

    • B-scot says:

      I have to agree I thing Cheryl was the better option but I think someone at FOX thought she was too British for American TV.

      • Dreama says:

        While I love some of our American shows, I like variety. Cheryl would have been something different on the show. I have no need to watch X Factor US as it is now.

        I guess if I want to watch British personalities, I’ll watch BBC America (hopefully they don’t add any more American shows) and wait for BBC iPlayer International! That or move overseas, now that would be fun :)

  7. David says:

    He’s just speaking to save face, HIS face and putting the blame on and Cheryl Cole.

    What kid of a friend sends another person to tell the bad news to her closest friend instead of discussing it with her first? Had he talk to her first they could have sorted this thing out and she would have continued doing the show, she really wanted to be part of The X Factor USA not the UX X Factor but he really screwed her over by making this decision without talking to her first. And then when someone from the show leaked the news to the press, what did he do? Nothing, he didn’t stop the press from dragging her name through the mud for ten days.

    And he can put as many spins to the story as he wants, but it’s clear that Cheryl Cole was never offered the US job back. If he was so concerned for her well being, he should have never put her under so much stress and humiliation. I hope he regrets this one day. As per Cheryl I wish her good luck and hope she makes a return stronger and better

  8. Vetle says:

    This is sad. Makes me kinda dislike Paula a little… I’ve always liked Paula, but I do think Cheryl is a much better judge.

    • charlie says:

      Paula is likable, but is a ditz as a judge, as she proved over and over again on American Idol. Why Simon would have her on X Factor US is a complete mystery to me. I was looking forward to having Cheryl Cole as a judge because she is young, beautiful, vibrant, has an interesting accent, and does a good job of judging/mentoring. I feel sorry for the contestants that will get stuck with Paula. They will, I think, suffer from the ditz factor.

  9. Sam says:

    During Cheryl’s absence from the UK panel, Nicole replaced her for a while. She is a better judge than Cheryl (prime example being from the same series the Gamu mistake she made). Katy Perry was also a better judge. I think the US panel will benefit from Nicole’s judging more than Cheryl’s. “The better man won”.

    • Sarah says:

      you’re kidding right? Nicole just sat there saying “your vocals aren’t good enough”.

    • B-scot says:

      I have to say that none of them are that great at judging but its the character and entertainment quality they bring that is important.
      I think Cheryl was the better option but maybe too British for some at FOX.

  10. Eoin says:

    Have any of you’s who are saying Nicole is bad even seen her judging on UK X Factor?Cause she was funny and gave great critique,Cheryl on the other hand says random garbage about “swaga” and “being right up her street”.Last year on X Factor she favoured Cher Lloyd over others (her other mentorees even admitted this) and then later Cher revealed she hasn’t spoke to her since the shows been over even though she was besties with her while she was on the show.In the end Cheryl worries about number 1 and about keeping up her profile.She is a waste of space and deserves to fired.

    • JJ says:

      I’m saying she’s bad and I saw Nicole judging on X-Factor. She was overpraising the mediocre, like we see on Idol, and reluctant/tried to cut Simon off when harder feedback was being given. Her strongest words to a TERRIBLE performer were “I think your vocals could use some work”. She’s useless. We have Paula for that.

    • AMC Fan says:

      The comment about Cheryl only worrying about number 1 is DUMB. She mentored Cher Lloyd BIG TIME and hooked her up with Now Cher Lloyd’s releasing an album HERE IN THE U.S. in the Fall!!!!! Besides Leona Lewis, none of the other WINNERS of UK X-Factor have been able to do that, let alone a girl who came in 4th Place!!! Cher Lloyd almost quit the competition early on… if it wasn’t for Cheryl convincing her to stay, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

  11. Andre says:

    This is all very typical Simon marketing – getting his show talked about in the media before there even is a show. The show is not, or should not be about the judges, but there’s nothing else to talk about until viewers see the auditions, so it’s all the PR machine has to work with. We’re all playing into their game by paying attention.

  12. Goku says:

    @Andre – “X Factor” is all about the judges. In Polish version they have really bad conflict, and they kicked off some talented singers just because they wanted to annoy the other judge.

  13. JJ says:

    Simon’s comments do NOT make sense. He says she “seemed” uncomfortable and thathe “believed she’d be happier back home on the original U.K. series” or that he “thought she was missing her family and friends” but yet she never told him she felt these things and he says nothing that they discussed this. The only thing that Cheryl DID tell him was that she “WASN’T HAPPY” with the decision to oust her.

    He claims she’s a close friend and yet he’s not speaking to her about his professional and personal concerns? I think Simon panicked and made a rash decision thinking he could do a switcheroo and put Cheryl back in the UK fearing viewers might not warm to her accent and that putting bland/non-entity Nicole in her place was a lot safer. His decision hurt Cheryl’s career and feelings, made him look bad and now saddled his show with a person he chose to NOT have as a judge when he originally had the opportunity and is a Sloppy Seconds reality tv show leftover from The Sing-Off and Dancing With The Stars. Nicole can’t get her solo career off the ground here after CONSISTENT FLOPS because America just isn’t interested in her.

    This show just got less interesting. Way to screw that up Simon.

    • charlie says:

      I’m guessing that this is what happened. The Fox execs did a focus group with typical FOXYMORONS who didn’t like Cheryl and had a problem with her accent, so they forced Cowell to dump her. Cowell is spinning it just like a politician would do and he’s trying to save face and hope that the show will turn out to be a hit and make him a ton more money. Fox execs and Cowell are all jerks, so none of this surprises me.

  14. SallyinChicago says:

    Spin spin spin.
    Fox didn’t want her in the first place, and after seeing her performance, they decided to let her go. I don’t think Simon had much to do with the decision.

  15. PatD says:

    Claiming she’s too British for the U.S. is ridiculous and insulting to all parties involved.

    From what I’ve read Cole could be spunky. She probably just wasn’t playing the game according to the script. There has to be more to this, otherwise why not take her back on the U.K. X Factor?

    AFAIC, Cowell has his work cut out for him now that The Voice has become so popular. Simon is a control freak. The Voice just doesn’t come off as manipulative as Idol/X Factor.

  16. Anne M. says: