Tulisa Contostavlos leaves N-Dubz as she joins Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh on The X Factor UK

Gary Barlow

Tulisa Contostavlos is to take her biggest solo steps away from her group N-Dubz after signing up for The X Factor 2011 UK, it has been reported. The hip-hop singer and rapper joins Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh on the show with auditions starting this Wednesday.

Heat magazine tweeted yesterday evening: “BREAKING NEWS: Apparently Tulisa from N-Dubz has signed her X Factor deal! It’s official, she’s a judge!”

The missing space on the panel is expected to be filled by former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland, although it is understood Kelly has yet to officially sign a deal with the show.

A source told the News of the World at the weekend: “We are happy with our female judges – Tulisa and Kelly.

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“They will make up a strong panel with Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow. The auditions have to start on Wednesday because they have been scheduled to fit around the Take That tour.”

Cheryl Cole was originally being tipped to rejoin the show after getting the axe in the states, but it seems as though producers got bored of waiting for her to respond. With auditions just a few days away, a source told the Sunday Mirror: "[Cheryl's] been told to get a grip, grow up and pick yourself up or you’ll lose the British show too.

“It’s tough, but we start filming the UK programme on Wednesday. No one is bigger than the show, that’s what she has to realise. If ­Cheryl doesn’t want to do it we’ll just go on without her.

“It’s very worrying that she’s ­refusing to engage with us. We need a dialogue but she won’t answer the phone. Cheryl needs to call us. She needs to call home.”

ITV has still yet to officially announce the panel.

Auditions for The X Factor 2011 start in Birmingham on June 1. TellyMix will be live at the N.E.C. blogging and tweeting all day!

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