Just days after it was officially announced that Nicole Scherzinger has replaced Cheryl Cole as a judge on the US version of The X Factor, we get to see new photos and video of the newly assembled X Factor judging panel hard at work on the show. The X Factor made its way to New Jersey this week for auditions and provided Nicole her first opportunity to sit in the judges chair next to Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Antonio L.A. Reid. Click below to check out the photos and video from Nicole‘s first day playing with the “big kids”.
Nicole Scherzinger was once merely an understudy for Cheryl Cole, filling in for her on the British version of the show when the Geordie star was struck with malaria.
But as these pictures show, Nicole has now really got her teeth sunk into Chezza’s job, seen here sitting pretty on the U.S. panel at the New Jersey auditions. However, while the confident former Pussycat Doll may no longer be playing second fiddle to Cole, she still has Paula Abdul to reckon with. Nicole was sat in the third seat as auditions kicked off yesterday, one down from 48-year-old Abdul who was in prime position next to Simon.
As she arrived for day two of auditions today Nicole was, predictably, all sweetness and light. Despite reports of bad feelings between her and her predecessor – after Cole reportedly branded Scherzinger average in an interview several years ago – Nicole seemingly took the moral high ground. Asked by MailOnline if she felt sorry for Cheryl, Nicole carefully responded: ‘I just hope Cheryl’s made the right decisions for her.’
She went on: ‘I haven’t spoken to Cheryl, she’s a lovely,talented, sweet girl. I don’t know how it went down or what happened. I was finding out as everyone else was. I just turned up for work and I’m just happy to be here.’ Yesterday Scherzinger tweeted a picture of her and Paula cuddling up backstage at the show’s auditions with the caption: ‘A dream come true! I was & always will B her biggest fan! I cnt believe I get 2 work w/Paula. X Factor day 1!’ … Nicole later tweeted a picture of her and Paula with another of their fellow judges, LA Reid, telling fans: ‘After finishing my vry 1st day on the new job, every1 has bn amazing! Thanku NJ 4 welcoming me. I’m truly grateful & excited 2 B judging.’
And there you have it … the final cast of The X Factor. It is a major bummer that things didn’t work out better for Cheryl Cole but all of this will be forgotten very quickly by folks here in the US. There are still many months to go before The X Factor debuts this Fall and, let’s be honest, 99.9% of the US population has never even heard of Cheryl Cole. I guess we’ll have to see if this judging panel has the fortitude to make for good TV. As we learned from the last season of American Idol, the judging panel can make or break a show like this. I like Nicole Scherzinger … I wish her nothing but the best. Here’s hoping she is able to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded her by The X Factor.