New X Factor 2012 judge Nicole Scherzinger is apparently Simon Cowell's favourite... and it's put out Gary Barlow!
Nicole is certainly in Simon's good books, having managed to score a spot on the UK show despite being booted off of the US version.
Insiders claim that Simon has even appointed Nicole as the new 'head judge', and has been speaking with her about how the new series is going.
"[Gary] and Louis know Nicole is seen as the key to saving the show after ratings fell last year," a source tells Closer magazine this week. "But Gary was unhappy when she revealed Simon was constantly in touch with her, finding out how the judges were doing and how it was all going."
The source added: "He feels Simon's getting Nicole to find out of the gossip and that she's taken his slot as the favourite judge."
A spokesperson for The X Factor however previously dismissed rumours of any rivalry on the panel.
They commented last week: "There’s no tension on the judging panel.
“They’re all getting along brilliantly and are excited for the upcoming series.”
The new series of [cat]The X Factor[/cat] hits screens later this month on ITV1.