It had been claimed that X Factor boss Simon Cowell wanted feuds between the pair but Cheryl insisted on it being one or the other.
“She [Cheryl] isn’t keen on sharing the job with Nicole and could use that as leverage when it comes to negotiations,” a source said last month.
They added: “If it comes down to Cheryl or Nicole – everyone would back Cheryl and she knows that.”
And the insider proved right with Cheryl being announced as a new judge this year while Simon confirmed Nicole’s exit in a simple tweet.
The music mogul wrote online: “Thank you Nicole for everything.”
According to new! magazine this week, Cheryl eventually signed her deal to make a comeback almost as soon as Nicole’s exit was confirmed, with insiders claiming Cheryl would only agree with Nicole quit.
The pair had worked together on the USA version of the show in 2011 but didn’t exactly get along with Cheryl branding her first meeting with Nicole “awkward” and “embarrassing”.
“The first time I met Nicole was when she was performing on The X Factor in London.” Cheryl wrote in her autobiography. “‘Oh my God, Cheryl! You’re just as pretty in real life! I heard your song on the radio!’ she had gushed. It was really embarrassing.
“Then she started singing ‘Promise This’ to me, and I swear to God the woman sang the whole song, to my face. It was just so awkward.”
And things were made worse when Cheryl went on to be axed from the show only to be replaced by Nicole on the panel just two audition shows into filming.
While the girls won’t be on the show this year there could still be some battles ahead as both have plans to release new albums in the autumn.