Get ready for a million "Ex-Factor" headlines (and play some Lauryn Hill while preparing): your The X Factor viewing experience will no longer include Cheryl Cole, who's been fired. Instead, Nicole Scherzinger--previously a co-host, will move up to the panel, which also includes Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid.
Cue the speculation about why Cole is out: her accent, her hair (which we think is excellent, thanks), her being a relative unknown in the U.S., one Telegraph writer making the dubious and uncomfortable assumption that Americans just like "sassy, noisy women," her reported lack of chemistry with the other judges.
Cole for Scherzinger is a fair swap, anyway. Both have TV girl-group backgrounds (Girls Aloud for Cole, the Pussycat Dolls and Eden's Crush for Scherzinger), both have tried really, really hard to launch solo careers. Cole's been relatively successful, but Scherzinger? Not as much; would-be first solo album Her Name Is Nicole was shelved, its title sounding more defensive every time you read it. And recent RedOne single "Poison" did decently in the U.K. thanks to (again) The X Factor, but did nothing overseas.
In any case, though, we were thinking maybe they'd get Randy Jackson, both reuniting the original Idol judges and pollinating another singing competition with "in it to win it." OK, so we weren't hoping that last part. And that scenario would make Reid the fourth wheel.
As for Cole, she may or may not return to the U.K. X Factor from whence she came, depending on how upset she stays. In the meantime, courtesy of Idolator, here's an interview she might be flashing back to today: