Simon Cowell has blamed Cheryl Cole's new management team - headed up by Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am - for her exit from both The X Factor USA and UK. Speaking officially for the first time since the drama first started two weeks ago, Simon blasted the BEP front man for ignoring calls and negotiations.
Cheryl was originally 'let go' from The X Factor USA shortly after the auditions in Chicago, but was offered a new contract to return to the UK version of the programme. With the new series just days away however a deal was never agreed and Tulisa Contostavlos was hired to replace Cole.
"Knowing Cheryl like I know her, we noticed she was quieter than normal, looked a bit uncomfortable but I put some of this down to nerves," Simon said about Cheryl's performance on the US show. "The overall feeling was that she was slightly out her comfort zone in America, compared to what she was in the UK.
"If she had accepted my original offer, she would have made a sensational return and would have understood she was more comfortable in the UK than the US.
"When she turned down the UK show, we got back in touch and said, well she is still under contract with the US show so we invited her back," Simon Cowell explained. "Her position was still there.
“We had some heated conversations with her US manager Will.i.am and he inferred this wasn’t a genuine offer. They thought that if she didn’t turn up on Wednesday then we wouldn’t pay her.
“We made it clear that she was always going to be paid in full. We got to the point on Saturday when we genuinely thought she was going to accept the offer but again neither she nor they returned any calls. So we’ve announced Nicole.”
X Factor USA latest
Simon Cowell says: I'm no monster, I was protecting Cheryl
Fox finally confirm: Cheryl Cole has been replaced by Nicole Scherzinger on The X Factor
As it's confirmed Cheryl is out of The X Factor, what the next for the former Nation's sweetheart?