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America gives Cheryl the thumbs up

If you watched American X Factor last night and couldn’t fathom what was so bad about Cheryl Cole’s performance, then you’re not alone. America wants to know why the pretty pop princess was axed too. Her appearance in the opening episode has been described as ‘blink and you’ll miss it’, while the reason given for her exit - half way through the show - amounted to nothing more than a speedy voiceover announcing a ‘change of judge.’ But a quick look at the US papers shows that America didn’t buy it.

The New York Times poured scorn over Nicole Scherzinger while smothering Cheryl in lukewarm praise: ‘In the premiere Cheryl just kind of disappears mid show, without much explanation, and suddenly Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls is in her chair. It's a downgrade. ‘Ms Cole showed glimmers of being interesting; in two seasons as a judge on The Sing-Off on NBC, Ms Scherzinger was a pretty face but, judicially speaking, not much more than a seat warmer.’ Sound post-match analysis.

The Huffington Post played down the judge swap, as a change from: ‘Outrageously Telegenic Woman Cheryl Cole to Outrageously Telegenic Woman Nicole Scherzinger’ – another apt summary.

Proving that they didn’t need subtitles to understand Cheryl, the LA Times says: ‘Cowell has said he replaced Cole because she seemed 'bewildered', but on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie (northern English) accent.’ In your face Fox bosses.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports: ‘Scherzinger doesn't come off as an obvious improvement (to Cole).’

Verdict: victory to team Chezza. If Simon Cowell was really ingenius he might turn the pro Chezza chatter into one giant publicity coup by bringing her back onto the show. But would she accept? And where would that leave Nicole? The mind boggles.

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