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

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Cheryl Cole is out as a judge on the upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor and cohost Nicole Scherzinger is in.

The worst kept secret in Hollywood was finally confirmed this morning by Fox and X producers FremantleMedia and Syco TV. Here’s the complete statement:

“Nicole Scherzinger will be replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel of The X Factor. Nicole will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5 million dollar recording deal. Nicole has previously joined Simon Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. Steve Jones will act as sole host of The X Factor.”

There’s still no official word on the reason behind Cole’s ouster, although everything from her thick accent to lack of chemistry with Abdul has been blamed.

Over the weekend, there was speculation that Cole was nearing an agreement to remain a part of the judging panel after she nixed an offer to return to the UK X Factor. Ultimately, a deal could not be hammered out.

Thoughts? Are you more or less likely to tune in this fall?