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Producers Confirm: Nicole Scherzinger Will Replace Cheryl Cole as ‘X Factor’ Judge

Dimitrious Kambouris / Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

The drama surrounding ‘X Factor‘ and dismissed judge Cheryl Cole is finally over. Contradicting a TMZ reported over the weekend that show producers were considering bringing her back, the network released a statement today confirming that Cole is out and Nicole Scherzinger will replace her as a judge.

FOX and show producers FremantleMedia and Syco TV released a statement that read in part: “Nicole Scherzinger will be replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel of ‘The X Factor.’ Nicole will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5 million recording deal.”

Cole was let go two weeks ago, allegedly because she didn’t click with Abdul and because her accent was too thick for American audiences to understand. Cole lashed out against Cowell after her dismissal and refused an invitation to go back to the UK version of ‘X Factor.’

As we noted on Friday, Fremantle still had Cole under contract and seemed reluctant to fire her because they would still be on the hook for her reported $1.5 million salary. TMZ reported the company was considering keeping Cole as a judge since they had to pay her anyway, but the statement makes it clear that will not be happening.

The network’s statement also confirms that Steve Jones will be the sole host of the program. ‘X Factor’ has been taping initial audition rounds in cities across the country. The show hits the air on September on FOX.

Watch an Interview With Cheryl Cole Before the L.A. ‘X Factor’ Auditions

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