So, X Factor USA has only just started and yet it’s already been making headlines worldwide. Even before the contestants are unleashed on the American public, the replacement of British singer and Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger continues to give Simon Cowell a bigger headache than any tone deaf first round applicant.
After leaving the UK version of the programme, Cheryl’s much hyped £3 million move to the States was accompanied by a huge amount of media attention; sadly for her, so was the later decision of producers to fire her in favour of Nicole. Public debate and gossip quickly followed as to the reason why. Was it because of her voice, as American viewers supposedly had trouble understanding Cheryl’s Northern accent, or because she was less well known in the USA than her more established rival? If it was because of her accent, Cowell and the X Factor USA producers may well be left embarrassed after fans in America praised Cole and preferred her to Nicole who was described by one reviewer as little more than a “seat warmer”.
The overall decision was reputedly made, not by Simon Cowell himself but Fox executive Mike Darnell after he saw audition tapes featuring Cheryl and decided that the judge needed to be replaced. The American version launched with twelve and a half million viewers, in comparison to rival American Idol’s 26 million, so Cowell and the producers surely have their work cut out in aiming to be the most successful programme. However, for the X Factor mogul, there’s another situation for him to deal with as well. After returning from America, he reputedly offered Cheryl a new job on Britain’s Got Talent alongside Amanda Holden after the departure of Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff being sacked. Sadly her response to Cowell’s offer was one of rejection. I guess this time it’s a “No” from Cheryl, Simon.