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Newly appointed judge Nicole Scherzinger made her debut at ‘The X Factor’ auditions in Newark, New Jersey. And, according to Simon Cowell, “she was terrific.”
It seems that Scherzinger has been hired to be the mean judge: Cowell introduced her to the crowd as “our own answer to Cruella de Vil,” the villainous puppy-skinner from ’101 Dalmatians.’
Scherzinger sidestepped questions about the controversy surrounding the exit of former judge Cheryl Cole from the show, telling ‘The Daily Mirror’ that “I haven’t spoken to Cheryl but she is a lovely, talented, sweet girl. … I don’t know how it went down.”
She added that “I found out at the same time as everyone else. I just turned up for work and I’m happy to be here. I just hope she has made the right decisions for her.”
Scherzinger was officially confirmed as an ‘X Factor’ judge earlier this week. She was promoted from co-host when Cole abruptly left the show after taping four rounds of auditions.
An ‘X Factor’ source told ‘The Daily Mirror’ that Scherzinger was a better fit on the judging panel than Cole, who had reportedly been on “frosty” terms with fellow judge Paula Abdul. “Nicole seems more at home with Paula and L.A. Reid and she isn’t slow in coming forward with her opinions. Nicole and Paula seem to get on well and they are not fighting for Simon Cowell’s attention in the way Paula and Cheryl were.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Cowell had nothing but good things to say about Scherzinger: “She’s a great addition to the panel, she’ll be great. She’s just what we needed — she’s a breath of fresh air.”
For her part, Cole has remained silent about the issues surrounding her departure from the show.
NEWARK, N.J. â€“ At auditions filmed Thursday before a live audience for “The X Factor,” Simon Cowell seemed to want people to move on from the shakeup on the show’s judges panel replacing British pop singer Cheryl Cole with American counterpart Nicole Scherzinger.
“It wasn’t really such a big deal as everybody thought. … Truth is you’ve got to move on. It’s about the contestants. They’ve got no interest in us bickering,” Cowell said at the auditions in New Jersey.
Earlier in the week, Fox and producers announced Cole was out and Scherzinger, who originally was signed on to co-host the show, would slide over to the judges table alongside Cowell, Paula Abdul and LA Reid.
He said the show will not re-tape episodes already filmed that feature Cole.
“Show it. I mean it’s reality TV. There’s no point in lying about it,” he said. “It is what it is.”
Cowell said it was a no brainer to slide Scherzinger over to the judge’s table when the position opened up.
“I’ve worked with Nicole before. I think she would have killed me if I had given the job to someone else. She’s very good at this. You know, she knows what she’s doing and so it was an easy transition.”
Entertainment Weekly was on hand for the X Factor auditions in New Jersey. Nicole’s judging was mentioned a few times in the article.
4. A lot of deciding votes. Contestants need a â€śyesâ€ť from three of the four judges to move on, and it comes down to the last judge casting his or her vote in the rotation quite often. All four judges can be tough, but it seems like Nicole Scherzinger, whose first day on the panel was Wednesday, was the most likely to vote â€śyesâ€ť if she was on the fence. Paula Abdul was next, then L.A. Reid, who, as my colleague Dave Karger pointed out when he attended the very firstÂ X FactorÂ taping, definitely gives Cowell a run for the title of harshest judge.
5. Nicole tends to coddle the lost causes. Nicole is like Paula in that she will try to say something positive if at all possible. But unlike Paula, she hasnâ€™t yet learned how ridiculous you look giving real advice to someone who will, sadly, never be more than a joke. During one critique, Paula actually hugged Nicole because it was obvious Nicole was going out of her way (and mind) to take someone seriously. I think Simon may also have laughed at her at one point. To Nicoleâ€™s credit, she reined it in, and found a way to be respectful and succinct. Sheâ€™s clearly the fourth judge, but sheâ€™s got promise. We only saw one contestant flirt with her. Letâ€™s hope thatâ€™s representative of other cities and her sex appeal doesnâ€™t become a focus of the show. When the season ends, I want to remember something she said, not a contestant kissing her or how she shook her fringe-covered bottom.
6. Nicole addresses contestants as â€śmy love.â€ť Donâ€™t worry, she only used it twice in four hours. So weâ€™re not looking at aâ€ťdawgâ€ť situation.
8. More of Simon and Paulaâ€™s mysterious chemistry. I didnâ€™t know how much I missed that either until Simon made it through the crowd to the judgesâ€™ table during their entrance, turned around, looked for Paula, and started yelling, â€śCome on, Paula! Come on, Paula!â€ť while slapping his thigh as though he was calling a puppy. While Nicole and L.A. spoke their introductory words to the audience, Paula stood there with her arm around Simon, and I believe I said â€śAwwâ€ť aloud. He may try to cut her off when sheâ€™s talking â€” particularly when theyâ€™re approaching the four-hour mark and a quarter of the audience has left â€” but itâ€™s clear theyâ€™re happy to be back together. He likes her because she gives him plenty of verbal set ups and can handle it when he spikes them. Sheâ€™s even gotten better about volleying.