Cheryl Cole dropped from US version of X Factor
Geordie accent and lack of chemistry with Paula Abdul cited as reasons for early departure
Only two weeks into the filming of auditions, and four months before the show airs, Cheryl Cole is reported to have been dropped as a judge of the American version of The X Factor, to be replaced by the former Pussycat Dolls singer, Nicole Scherzinger.
Two reasons have been given for Cole's departure by TMZ, the celebrity gossip website which broke the news late yesterday: first, that Americans are finding it hard to understand her strong Geordie accent, and, second, that there was an evident "lack of chemistry" between Cole and the other female judge, Paula Abdul.
The news has not been confirmed by Fox TV or Simon Cowell, the show's impresario and leading judge. Neither has it been denied.
The Sun newspaper, which like Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, has reported Cole's departure from the show, but has inferred that it is because she is "homesick".
This does not tally with recent comments from Cole - such as: "I'm so excited... I can't wait to get started" - nor with a later report from TMZ that she is "royally pissed" at being dropped.
Cole is understood to have signed a contract with Fox worth £1.2m - but Fox had a get-out clause in case American audiences did not take to the former Girls Aloud singer, who remains relatively unknown in the States.
It seems Fox have taken advantage of the clause earlier than anyone expected. Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox, said earlier this month that Cole had the "whole X Factor package".
There were reports overnight that Cole will be asked to return to the judging panel of the British version of The X Factor, which she quit for the chance to "make it big" in the States. But TMZ says she may want nothing to do with the show following the humiliation she appears to have suffered. ·
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