Simon Cowell, American Idol

More crazy news from Fox’s The X Factor. It was announced today that Nicole Scherzinger will replace Brit singer Cheryl Cole on the judging panel for the singing show. She will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul in their search to find another “global superstar” or group who could ultimately win a $5 million dollar recording deal.

Nicole has previously joined Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. She had filled in for Cole, who was a U.K. judge, too.

Cole was originally announced as part of the show’s U.S. judging panel last month, participated in early judging rounds, then was seemingly booted off. Over the last few days, however, news emerged that she was being offered another role on the show. What went down next is the subject of some dispute, but one U.S.-based executive involved in the matter tells EW that Cole “wasn’t quite herself” during her four days of filming, potentially due to nerves or just feeling out of her environment with the new show.

Some reports made it sound like U.S. producers basically booted Cole from the show because they were unhappy with her performance. Our source says it was more consensual. “After the Chicago auditions, producers suggested she might be happier returning to the UK panel and her management clearly indicated she’d be happy to consider that,” a source told EW. “It wasn’t meant to be the case she was being fired. She was offered an alternative [to work on the UK version] for more money where they thought she might be happier.”

It’s unclear what role Cole will play, if any, on the U.S. version.

For more on The X Factor:

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Simon Cowell, American Idol
The X Factor
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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