Simon Cowell: Cheryl Cole 'replaced' Mariah Carey on X Factor USA panel

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell has revealed that Cheryl Cole was second choice for The X Factor USA panel, with Mariah Carey originally lined up as a judge on the show. Speaking at a US press conference earlier in the week, Simon blamed the singers pregnancy on not taking part.

He explained: “There’s certain sections on the show, but I don’t want to give too much away now, where we do have well-known people helping us.

“And there’s a section on the show I’m hoping Mariah will get involved in.

“I spoke to her the other day. She’s been enthusiastic about the show from day one, but then selfishly got pregnant, which is why she didn’t end up as a judge!”

Instead, Cheryl Cole joined Simon, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on the panel, although Cheryl was given the boot after filming just four audition shows.

Cheryl was replaced on the panel by Nicole Scherzinger, who was originally co-hosting the show alongside Brit Steve Jones.

Speaking about the moment she was made judge, Nicole said “When Simon called me and asked me to be a part of the panel, I was so honoured and so elated.”

The X Factor USA starts on September 21 on FOX in the states. It’ll air in the UK on ITV2 shortly after.

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