Roundabout! Cheryl Cole offered 'X Factor' job back


Image Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The biggest X Factor in Fox’s version of the UK hit has been Brit singer Cheryl Cole, who was originally announced as part of the show’s judging panel last month, then was seemingly booted off, and is now being offered a role on the show again.

Here’s what we’re being told happened: Cole signed up with U.S. version of X Factor and participated in the early judging rounds. What went down next is the subject of some dispute, but one U.S.-based executive involved in the matter tells EW that Cole “wasn’t quite herself” during her four days of filming, potentially due to nerves or just feeling out of her environment with the new show.

Some reports have made it sound like U.S. producers basically booted Cole from the show because they were unhappy with her performance. Our source says was more consensual.

“After the Chicago auditions, producers suggested she might be happier returning to the UK panel and her management clearly indicated she’d be happy to consider that,” a source says. “It wasn’t meant to be the case she was ‘being fired.’ She was offered an alternative [to work on the UK version] for more money where they thought she might be happier.”

Producers of the Fox show promoted previously announced co-host Nicole Scherzinger to Cole’s judges spot, while Cole started re-negotiating to return home to the UK version of X Factor. She asked for a reported 2.5 million pounds, then after two days of negotiations went silent “for like three or four days.” Producers were unwilling to meet the price, suspected she might have been courting other offers and were under deadline to start production in the UK. They withdrew their offer.

The press exploded with the story that Cole was now adrift from both versions of X Factor.

But hello: Yesterday Fox and producer Freemantle called her management and said they “want to ensure she still has a role on the show” and told her the role could be adapted to suit her. One serious factor is that Cole’s deal states she gets paid whether she participates or not, so, hey, why not have her involved. But producers still want a commitment that she “really really wants to be a part of the U.S. show” — even though they’re reportedly offering her about $1.5 million, much less than she demanded from the UK version.

“This is not about playing games,” a source says.

We’re told one option being discussed right now is having a panel of five judges (Cole and Scherzinger, plus L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul and, of course, Simon Cowell), though that strikes us as one too many. Especially since, with X Factor, each judge coaches their own performance category, so a new category would presumably have to be created to pull off a panel of five.

“Simon Cowell’s only concern is he wants to make sure everything is done right by Cheryl,” adds a source close to the judge-producer.

One thing is for sure: This is not the end of this story — or the last version of these events you are likely to hear.

Comments (114 total) Add your comment
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  • Ann

    Please stop reporting on this story. This is getting very irritating. The producers are trying to drum up publicity with this stupid manevour. Who the f#$% cares about Cole in America? Pick an American for the role. There’s more talent in America.

    • Gabe

      That statement is so ignorant I don’t even know where to begin….. Well first off I am American and I love Cheryl Cole. Second, more talent in America? Have you not noticed the top song in America for the past 2 or 3 months (I can’t even remember how long it’s been) is Rolling in the Deep by Adele, a BRITISH SINGER! Please stop commenting on these stories if you don’t like them and your comments are this stupid.

      • @ Gabe and Ann

        Both of your comments are off hand. There IS a larger pool of talented people in the US, but it comes down to what the producers want. Who cares what nationality she is; all that matters is if she can perform her job. That’s all we should care about. Can’t people just be nice on these comment boards?

      • ns

        So that means back when Celine Dion was at the top of the charts, that served as “proof” that Canada had more talent than the U.S? Adele doesn’t make up for there being 5 times as many people in the U.S. as the U.K.

      • Ann

        Gabe, X factor made her accent an issue. I was merely pointing out that picking an American will stop this nonsense esp since we have such a large pool of talent here. This PR crap is getting on my last nerves and is really turning me against Cole rather than making me feel sorry for her ..which is clearly what X factor is trying to do. Backfire!

      • Ann

        Plus making the judges the center of the show rather than the contestants is a real disservice to the contestants and the viewers.

      • John

        Wwo…she could pass for Shania Twain’s li’l sis. She’s stunning

      • Jana

        Well,….how about they get Shania Twain herself? I’d love to see her every week.

      • Lola

        2 words: “Publicity Stunt”

      • Gabe

        Ann you are a moron.

      • Ann

        Gabe you ignorant slut.

    • I am spartacus

      Idiot of the year award goes to you. Again.

    • Anna

      I think you don’t know what The X Factor is about if you think the contestants are more important that the judges. This is an entertainment program not a charity case. Cheryl Cole attracts headlines like honey attract bees. It would be stupid if FOX/Freemantle/Simon didn’t put her on the panel. Publicity for free and what’s more she can do her job perfectly fine.

      • Ann

        I’ve seen the UK version. It ain’t all that. Nicole would be better

      • Anna

        I’ve seen the UK version for three years and Cheryl Cole is million times better than Nicole Scherzinger, even Dannii Minogue or Louis Walsh are better than her.

    • Miguel

      Yes, please…stop reporting on an entertainment story. What do you think you are, a website for an entertainment magazine?

      • Ann

        It’s pretty sad and pathetic that X factor has to resort to these lame a$$ manufactured judge drama to get attention. It can’t stand on its merit but has to depend on this drivel. Yes stop reporting this manufactured crap!

      • Miguel

        I agree this reeks of manufactured drama to create buzz about this show, and perhaps Cheryl, who obviously is hoping to drum up her popularity over here…. just speculating

    • Mary

      I agree!

    • Skye Hill

      There’s more talent in a country infinitely larger than England?! Shocking. You’re a moron. As for who cares about Cheryl? I do. I love her accent. She’s easier to understand and comprehend than the incoherent doofus Paula.

      Dump Nicole. She lacks likeability.

    • Steve

      This whole story has stank of “publicity stunt” since day one. Trying to contrive some “tension” between Cowell and Cheryl. Simon Cowell is such a sell-out.

    • Jay

      I’ve seen the UK Version of X factor online, and Cheryl Cole is pretty good and guess what, I have no trouble understanding her. I’ve also seen Nicole Sherzinger as a judge on The Sing Off, and she was really bad, and made no sense most of the time. So, I’d rather see Cheryl.

    • Summer Bay

      Um…. Giving we have a MUCH bigger population then the U.K i’d also say we have many more idiots then them (like you for instant Ann).

      • Ann

        Summer Bay…it is “instance” rather than “instant”. You might want to check your word usage before calling somebody an idiot…IDIOT!

      • Marcie

        And “Given,” not “Giving,” and “than,” not “then, and “they,” not “them.” Just sayin’!

      • Sarah

        Have you two been hanging out with Piers Morgan?

      • ToolOfTheSouth

        @Ann/Marcie: You think pointing out a few grammar mistakes makes you look more smart and less idiotic? Wow! To resort to something so “trivial” just because you can’t change the facts to support your own unwarranted claims; just makes you both look silly. More people may mean more talent but not “better” talent. That’s like having 12 generic sodas and one Coca-cola and then stating that their are more generic sodas SO THEY MUST BE BETTER! When we ALL KNOW one “real” Coke is better than 12 bad ones. Get it? lol You probally don’t.

    • Margaret Iziren

      We have Americans on the British got talents. We are not complaining shouting it.go and chew some carrot that should keep your mouth busy.

      • @ Margaret

        You have David Hasselhoff… so what. On almost every talent show in the US there is at least one Brit. If we had a problem with having Brits on our TVs we would have been yelling louder for the last 10 years. I don’t have a problem with people’s respective nationalities…do you?

    • Tom

      Ann you are absolutely right.

    • james

      this is old news already, they’ve decided to pay her and not have her be part of the show.

    • Tyler

      I love Cheryl Cole, I am an American that fell in love with her English accent on the UK X Factor. She was one of the main reasons I was looking forward to the US X Factor!

  • Yabby

    A P.R. stunt from the beginning.

    • Rachel

      Agree. I like how EW took their source that she was fired from TMZ. NEVER LISTEN TO TMZ! Especially when their reasoning was, “Americans are too stupid.. er… too sensitive to accents.” There are too many actors/actresses to list who have heavy accents and we fare pretty well.

      • matt

        I’m no TMZ fan, but they’ve been the first to report on many big Hollywood stories. Take of it what you will.

    • Union Sam

      Exactly. The British X-Factor took a few years to turn into pure soap opera, now the American X-Factor is one before the show even airs. Why even bother with contestants? I’ve always enjoyed Simon Cowell but this is ridiculous.

  • etm

    Wow, she is stunning!

    • Jeff

      AGREE!! She is breath taking!! Really hope she’s coming back to US XF!! Love her!!!

  • Rachel

    She was never fired EW! Go on and her name was never taken off the list of judges. It is a PR stunt to keep X factor in the news.

  • John

    Was wasn’t fired at all, was clearly just to take the attention off The Voice and Idol.

  • Anna

    Oh, please, I hope she’s back on the show, please.

  • Leon

    5 JUDGES IS TO MANY! That’s to time consuming and you’d have to adjust the show. Just bring back Cheryl, put Nicole back as co-host and move forward

    • Mk

      THIS!!! Cheryl will do great in America!! Just give her a chance!

  • Flip

    I am glad she has a “pay or play” clause in her contract. It would’ve been sad if she got completely screwed by both X Factors.

  • Kate

    Geezzz Why are they giving this annoying woman more press time, just as shes out of the news in the UK shes back in it, fed up of Cheryl and all the draam that follow hers, its all we have ahd over here since she joined the X Factor, will she get back with her chaeting husband, whats going on between her and Simon, off camera fueds with co judges! So much over someone who doesnt have the talent to go with it, the girl cant even sing live! Give us Nicole Sherzinger any day over this train wreck, at least Nicole worked hard to get where she is, and she has natural talent!

    • Skye Hill

      That’s not Cheryl’s fault. That’s the fault of your country’s idiotic “press”. It’s amusing that Brits think Americans are rude, but there’s no one more rude than the British press. Bunch of snarky dullards writing stories for their doltish readers. Without the demand, there would be no supply.

      • Abi

        I agree! Really hate the press here in the UK they constantly have a go at Cheryl, when all she’s done is take her opportunities. That’s why I think she’ll be happier in the US

      • Natasha

        I’m wondering now if we can talk about your sites sttcisaits search volume, etc, I’m trying to sites I can buy adspace through let me know if we can talk about pricing and whatnot. Cheers mate you’re doing a great job though.

    • GN

      Cheryl left her cheating husband actually, and is dating someone else. And I don’t think Nicole is talented, but it’s just my opinion.

      • MojoJojo

        Nicole is an OK singer but at least she does not lip-sync.

      • Love and let live

        we couldn’t care. we want american jobs for american people. america controls the entertainment industry. this is an american show made for the american ppl. the british can keep the brits. and maybe send back kelly rowland so she can do something for her countries industry. we already have legends like madonna and britney and this british thing pales in comparsion. even in britian she was a pathetic WAG who desperately wanted to be victoria beckham. america is for america and i will defend my country and my peoples rights to not have foreigners invading every part of the american dream. she will not succeed here cause i’d rather invest my hard earned money in a talented american or any american regardless of talent over a brit and especially over a brit with a horrible accent. that is no kings english. my forefathers fought for americas rights to be free of the brits so keep them out already!!

  • Modesty

    After this latest development, I agree with those who think it is a publicity stunt…

  • Steph

    I hope she stays. I was lucky enough to be in the audience for two of the Chicago auditions and she was absolutely lovely. I didn’t know anything about her prior to this but she gave good criticisms & was very gracious about it. I didn’t have a problem understanding her accent.

  • Lucy

    Nicole should have the job instead of Cheryl. Cheryl is an unknown in the USA and hasn’t released any music yet. She also cannot sing in my opinion, whereas Nicole can. So what if Cheryl is pretty, Nicole is pretty too and can sing and is also known in the USA.

    • Skye Hill

      Nicole has no personality. She’s a dull rock. Cheryl has tons of personality and comes off as sweet and lovable.That’s what matters most, and that’s why the show worked so well in England when Dannii and Cheryl were on.

      • LN

        Agreed, Skye! And I’ve never thought Nicole was a decent singer, either.

      • Dan

        people have to first understand her and her accent! But isn’t this priceless a lip syncher giving advice as a judge. Hei Milli Vanilli would be much better…at least we can understand them

      • Skye Hill

        I guess morons like Dan can’t understand English when it’s spoken with an accent. How incredibly unintelligent can you be that you can’t comprehend your own native language when a simple accent is added to it? It must be embarrassing to be so stupid.

  • Chris

    Simon plays the media like a violin and they fall for it each time. No way he was dropping Cheryl. Pure publicity stunt.

  • malcolm jones

    simon and cheryl are full of their own importance … its just a show … although a successful show … remember american idol was not dead after simon left it … infact the rating went higher … britain talent show survived without simon … infact i thought the judges better … its all about talent … new talent … not more money for simon … he is rich man … give other people a chance

    • Skye Hill

      No, the ratings didnt go higher after Simon left. They dropped. The latest singing final was Idol’s lowest rated ever.

  • Jen Harris

    I’m American and really like Cheryl Cole and hope she does work it out and stay on as a judge. She has a great personality and deserves a chance to break into the US market. If this is her chance, so be it… and let her have it! The whole thing about her accent is ridiculous. She’s not *that hard* to understand. At all. I can understand her a whole lot better than I understood Colin Farrell at the beginning of his career in the US.

    • LOL

      Yawn. This story has been beaten to death.

      • @ LOL

        Your shtick has been beaten to death.

    • Love and let live

      shut up!! how unpatriotic can you get. the disloyalty this country shows to american values and american entertainment, and american jobs is starting to sicken me. tell me one good thing that makes her stand out?? we already have american talent in gaga/ britney/madonna/ even beyonce. what does some stupid british tart have to offer? and btw colin is an actor. he can adjust his f=voice to fit certain accents your argument is silly in that regard. cheryl refuses such lessons. i remember they even made an american southerner on antm change her accent for being to southern. i don’t hear my fellow americans in an uproar when that happened. but when some ex patriot is asked to change a accent no where native to my country there is an uproar. everyday immigrants asked to do the same. if you want to live in america our land requires that you assimilate. our land is a melting pot. Cheryl is no exception to my countries rules. for you to argue otherwise or claim otherwise seriously makes me question the people we have living under the american banner. people that everyday i have had family members in iraq sacrficing there lives for. grandfathers/ uncles/ great granddads etc who fought in WWII/ korean/vietnam/gulfwar/missions in iraq and afghanstan. and what did they fight for the right to be an american!! thats probably why i appericate my countries history/ great culture/amazing presidents and the right to an american identity.

      • Sarah

        you’re a disgrace to your country

      • Rachel

        I think you are missing the point of America. The fact that Cheryl Cole can come to the USA and make a name for her self screams the American Dream. I hope our foreign readers don’t take what you say to heart; as you are not representative of what America is about.

      • Abi

        Don’t you like capital letters?

      • Pauliert

        I had to double check then that this was and not some raging bigoted blog. As a Brit who loves America, it’s culture and its entertainment, I was taken aback by this vitriolic outburst. I love reading EW and taking part in these forums, which judging by the posts are from readers across the world. Such xenophobia surely belongs in another age and certainly not on an entertainment site. Shame on you and thankfully from having so many friends in the US I know your narrow-minded views are not representative of your wonderful country and people.

      • ToolOfTheSouth

        @Love and let live: You keep name-dropping (fellow-American) Madonna. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Madonna LEAVE the U.S. to reside in the U.K. several years ago? Why, yes she did? Yet she’s YOUR answer to what a REAL American/Patriot is???? And why do you use the name “Love and let live” when you certainly do NOT “love” and “let live” yourself!? If you really believed in your username, you wouldn’t be trying to turn this into something POLITICAL, when it’s not. It’s a tv show to entertain us. Nothing more. Nothing less. Now Learn And Let Live, my friend, if you can see past your own hatefulness. Be mad about our soldiers coming home with just enough support to keep them homeless after defending OUR right to disagree. Our soldiers; not an judge on any tv show, require this type of support. I just don’t think a talent show judge is a reason for spreading your own disillusionments of what it actually means to be an American Patriot; and the responsibilities that requires. Or maybe you want to check in with Madonna on that before you answer.

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