Cheryl Cole has been "axed" from The X Factor twice in one week after snubbing Simon Cowell and refusing to return to the UK version of the show. According to the News Of The World, Cheryl had until midnight on Saturday to make a decision - which she failed to do.
A source 'close to Simon' told the tabloid: "The brutal truth is that no one is bigger than the show - not Cheryl and not even Simon. We have a huge show we need to get on the road on Wednesday and we needed to know if Cheryl was coming with us.
"We have bent over backwards for Cheryl and she hasn't engaged with us. She is out. That's showbusiness."
However a source 'close to Cheryl' argued that she had been pushed out of the show. "They set her a ridiculous deadline. They have basically done the same to Cheryl as they did to Dannii Minogue - given her an offer she couldn't accept," the source explained.
The insider continued: "They did this because they knew Cheryl wasn't going to come back and they wanted it to appear that the decision was theirs. It wasn't - it was Cheryl's decision to go.
Meanwhile an upset Cheryl is understood to have ranted to pals: "I've been used. Why put me through it? It's cruel. I have no idea what I'm going to do now."
The newspaper claims that ITV1 bosses wanted Cheryl back on the show. An insider blabbed: "Peter expressed his worry about the UK show and how much he would love to get Cheryl back. Simon knew how badly ITV needed her."
The X Factor 2011 UK panel consisting of Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos is expected to be announced any time.
For more on the story including how Cheryl reveals she feels betrayed by Simon Cowell, head over to the News Of The World website
Auditions for The X Factor 2011 start on Wednesday in Birmingham.