The first official word on the Cole departure reads, "FOX, FremantleMedia North America and Syco TV today confirm 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.'"
If you were hoping for gossip, innuendo or enlightenment, we're terribly sorry.
It was only a month ago that, in a dramatic rush, FOX announced that Cole and Paula Abdul were set to join Simon Cowell and Antonio "LA" Reid on the "X Factor" judging panel and that Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones were set to host. That was the configuration FOX revealed to advertisers at upfronts last month and the configuration for first round of judged auditions in Los Angeles.
But something happened and it's unclear when and if we'll ever get an on-the-record version of the story. On the day of the "American Idol" finale, media reports broke that Cole was departing and that Scherzinger was stepping in as judge. Cole then subsequently revealed that she was departing her role as judge on the British "X Factor" as well. Over the weekend, there were reports that, in what may have been a contractual tactic, Cole was given the chance to return to "The X Factor" but that, like scuttlebutt that her thick accent and use of British colloquialisms may have doomed her, is merely talk.
For now, the facts are as simple as the official statement: Your American "X Factor" judges will be Cowell, Reid, Abdul and Scherzinger. The show will be hosted by Jones. And "X Factor" will premiere on FOX, airing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, this fall.