'X Factor' Judge Shake-Up! Cheryl Cole Out, Nicole Scherzinger In!

Move over, American Idol! Simon Cowell's new show The X Factor doesn't even begin airing until September, but there's already drama going down at the judges' table.

According to TMZ.com, British singer Cheryl Cole has been replaced by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.

Scherzinger, 32, was originally slated to co-host the American version of the talent competition with Steve Jones, but sources say that, very recently, she was asked to join Cowell, Paula Abdul, and music producer L.A. Reid on the panel.

There's been no comment from The X Factor people on Cole's ousting, but multiple sources have confirmed the shakeup.

"It's true. She isn't on the show anymore. Everyone is gobsmacked," an insider told UsMagazine.com. "This came out of nowhere. She had already been tested countless times. Simon had nothing to do with it. This is the network's doing."

The U.K.'s Daily Telegraph is reporting that network execs were concerned over the Brit's "lack of chemistry" with Paula Abdul, in addition to the Brit's accent and that she was basically unknown in the U.S.

Cole, 27, had initially admitted to being "out of her comfort zone" after being hired by the show, but felt her accent wouldn't be a problem for the audience. 

"Americans can always understand me," Cole said at the time. "I've been here a lot, I've got a lot of American friends and we have the odd moments where they're like 'What? What did that mean?' - you know, a phrase. But I think that it's going to be something that people get used to. And I'm proud of my accent."

It's strange to think that execs would fire Cole due to her accent, as British superstar Cowell is sitting on the panel, as well. America certainly didn't seem to have any problems understanding his harsh words when he first showed up on Idol all those years ago.


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