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Cheryl Cole 'X Factor' USA: Where it all went wrong

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Cheryl Cole
Reports and rumors began to emerge about Cheryl Cole being dropped from The X Factor USA judging lineup yesterday afternoon. No sources close to Cole, Cowell or Fox have confirmed or denied the claims, but it looks likely now that she will no longer be taking part in the talent show. Co-host Nicole Scherzinger will be a ready-made replacement for the 'Fight For This Love' popstar, but how in less than a month did things go sour so quickly for the singer? Digital Spy looks back at a rollercoaster 20 days for Cheryl.

Thursday, May 5: After months of speculation, Cheryl Cole is finally confirmed as one of the four judges on Fox's X Factor USA. Her contract is reported to be worth £1.2million. She joins Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid on the panel. Cowell's former American Idol buddy Paula Abdul is added to the bill at the final hour ahead of the auditions in LA. Immediate reaction to Cole's appointment is mixed with many commentators questioning her low profile outside of the UK.

Cheryl Cole arrives at the 'X Factor' US auditions at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California
Sunday, May 8: Cole, Cowell, Abdul and Reid begin their search for America's next big popstar in Los Angeles. Cheryl turns up in purple trousers, a peach top and giant fluffy hair, which is compared by many to the regular attire of Daphne from Scooby Doo. Cole tells reporters outside that she is "staking a lot" by launching a TV career in the US.

Monday, May 9: After the first day of auditions things appear to be going swimmingly for the Brit as she bonds with Reid and Abdul. The latter tweets to her followers pictures of her hugging the Girls Aloud singer and describes Cole as "a delight" and "fierce". There is no word on what Reid thinks, but apparently his son has a crush on Cole and plans to woo her.

Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, X Factor
Wednesday, May 11: The first whispers of discontent in the X Factor camp emerge as reports leak about audience members booing some of Cole's comments to the acts. Her PR team insist that all the judges have been heckled by the crowd and that she is holding up well. However, Paula Abdul's Twitter followers let their feelings be known about Cole grabbing the all-important seat next to Cowell. "Paula is our sweet little angel! Why is Simon letting that big-haired girl take her seat?" complains one Abdul fanatic. A show insider commented: "To see Cheryl in between Simon and Paula put her in the firing line."

Sunday, May 15: More bad news for Cheryl as her best friend and boss Simon Cowell mocks her new haircut. "It was the equivalent of five gallons of hairspray and then standing in the middle of a hurricane," laughs the Syco boss. Hairdressing guru Vidal Sassoon rubs it in, telling Cheryl that she needs to keep it short in the future.

Cheryl Cole judging on The X Factor USA
Tuesday, May 17: Cheryl's Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh spreads some positive news, claiming that the popstar is "chuffed" with US audiences' response to her on the panel. "The Americans have been really welcoming," writes Walsh in her OK diary piece. "I know she loves Paula Abdul and from watching her on American Idol, I think they will get on brilliantly!"

Wednesday, May 18: It's silly season time in the tabloids as Cheryl is first of all forced to deny that she's had a boob job and is then linked to Hollywood movie roles following a whirlwind trip to the Cannes festival. Apparently Angelina Jolie has been telling her friends to work with the singer. Hmm...

Cheryl Cole at the FOX upfront presentation in New York
Thursday, May 19: More positive news for Cole as Paula Abdul appears to be fully on board with Team Cheryl. Cole's mentor/friend/producer/manager/lover will.i.am claims that the pair have become best mates and are ganging up on Cowell backstage at the auditions. Maybe Cheryl pushed the whoopee cushion jokes on the Syco boss too far?

Friday, May 20: A new X Factor USA promo video is released for the show, but Cheryl is given the shortest spot in the film. Even Welsh export and host Steve Jones gets a more glam introduction to viewers.

Cheryl at judges houses
Tuesday, May 24: Cheryl Cole fails to endear herself to LA locals by questioning their habit of having plastic surgery. She is also apparently told by Fox bosses to dump her on-off lover Derek Hough. Even more bizarrely, Simon Cowell is alleged to have asked Cole to "show more of her legs" to increase publicity for the show. This was probably a good sign that things were about to turn sour.

Wednesday, May 25: The first reports surface that Cheryl Cole has been fired by Fox. Ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger will replace her. There is still no comment from Fox or Cheryl on the news.

Earlier this year, Digital Spy attended the first-ever X Factor auditions in Los Angeles and asked the hopefuls what they thought of Cheryl Cole:


> Cheryl Cole poll: Should she rejoin 'X Factor' UK?
> Cheryl Cole's greatest performances: Video
> Cheryl Cole, Girls Aloud to 'X Factor': Pictures
> The X Factor USA full coverage

Watch the latest promo for The X Factor USA featuring Cheryl Cole below:

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