British pop star Cheryl Cole has been dropped as a judge on the American version of Simon Cowell’s singing competition The X Factor. According to reports from TMZ and Us Weekly, Cole will be replaced as a judge by Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger when the show debuts on Fox in the fall. Scherzinger had been tapped originally to co-host the show.
TMZ’s sources claim that Cole was dropped in part because the show’s producers were concerned that her Northern English accent would be incomprehensible to American audiences. Cole, who is a judge on the British version of the show, is regularly mocked in the U.K. media – and by Cowell himself – for her thick “Geordie” accent.
As of yet, no one directly involved with the show has officially announced Cole’s departure or Scherzinger’s shift to judge status.