Oh, the bandwidth that's been shed over Cheryl Cole being hired for the U.S. The X Factor, then fired, then fired overseas, then not fired on a technicality, then maybe not fired for realsies, then fired again. We can only imagine how much worse it must feel for Cole herself, given that about fifteen versions of her immediate future have existed then exploded in the span of about a week. Now comes number umpteen, and it's final: Cheryl Cole is out. Nicole Scherzinger is in. The official statement by Fox and X producers FremantleMedia and Syco TV:
“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 dollar recording deal. Nicole has previously joined Simon Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. Steve Jones will act as sole host of The X Factor.”
This isn't the end of every question, obviously. The statement doesn't give any reason why Cole was fired, not even the most glittering of generalities. It also doesn't mention what'll happen to the Cole segments that've already been recorded. So prepare for endless speculation on those points, until either The X Factor airs or everyone gets tired of the whole mess.
But personally, we're tired of it already. There are more pressing concerns: at what point will Cheryl Cole spool an inevitable comeback single out of this rigmarole? (To be honest, she deserves one after all this.) Will Nicole Scherzinger step up her judging from The Sing-Off's days, or at least step it up to Paula Abdul's level? What about her inevitable single--will it be solo or PCD? And why is The X Factor drama the biggest Girls Aloud-related story when "Beat of my Drum" exists? Go listen to that again and watch all your X Factor worries military-march away.