Will Cheryl Cole run home to Ashley after US fiasco?
She looks as bad as Barbra Streisand - and why can't she talk like Kate Middleton, complained her critics
The public humiliation of Cheryl Cole appears to be complete with the publication of the Sunday papers. Not only do they rake over the miserable details of why she was dropped from the US X Factor, but they also suggest she has been let down by the man she trusted as her friend and mentor, Simon Cowell.
As a result she may not even get her old job back on the original version of The X Factor which starts filming this week.
And, such is her comedown that it is being suggested the 27-year-old could go running home to her ex-husband, England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole - from whom she filed for divorce at the High Court exactly a year ago.
First, the details of why it went wrong in the States. She has been blamed for (a) not playing the Hollywood game, (b) being too timid as a judge and (c) looking a fright.
'Playing the game' in LA means schmoozing with TV execs, attending the Grammy awards, and generally looking fabulous and acting positive 24/7. Instead, according to a Fox TV executive quoted by the Sunday Mirror, she sat in her hotel room, missing her mum and eating digestive biscuits.
As soon as the auditions began, Fox executives were claiming she was too quiet, too negative, compared with her fellow female judge, the "confident, brilliant and funny" Paula Abdul.
As for her looks, it was her day one appearance (above) in a shocking bouffant hairdo, coupled with an orange top and purple flares, that did the damage.
"We thought we were getting a sex symbol - we ended up with Barbra Streisand from Meet the Fockers", said an anonymous 'senior source' of the News of the World, referring to Streisand's performance in the follow-up to Meet the Parents, in which she played an over-the-top and garishly dressed 'wacky mum' to Ben Stiller.
Or as the Sunday Mirror's source put it: "She came out on the first day wearing that hideous outfit and the reaction from Fox was like, 'What the fuck is she wearing?'"
The fashion faux-pas were not helped by her Geordie accent, unintelligible to many Americans. The Sunday Times quotes a former UK producer of the show saying: "Apparently one focus group viewer said, 'Why doesn't she sound like Kate Middleton?'"
Cole is said to be back in Britain today, hiding in a "secret location", her future plans far from certain, still asking: "Why did Simon Cowell do this to me?"
According to the News of the World, she was given barely hours by Cowell following her sacking in the US to decide whether she wants to rejoin the UK version of the show, which begins filming on Wednesday.
Friends say she has been given no time to pick herself up from the US blow. One told the paper: "They have given her an offer she couldn't accept". Realists are saying, "Heh, that's showbusiness."
Carole Malone in the News of the World writes today, "The fact is, she isn't a big talent. Nor is she a player. And this move to the US has exposed her."
Hence, perhaps, the rumours that she might pretend the last year never happened and go home to her ex-husband. The Sunday Times reports that Ashley's "friends say he's hoping her disastrous American adventure might lead her to seek consolation in his arms".
He hasn't had much of a year either: England trounced in the World Cup, Chelsea without any silverware. But that's another story. ·
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