X Factor 2017: Louis Walsh backs Nicole Scherzinger over Cheryl

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Louis Walsh has backed Nicole Scherzinger to stay on The X Factor over a return from Cheryl.

Cheryl and Nicole are reportedly already ‘fighting’ for a spot on next year’s series.

Cheryl first joined the show in 2008 before leaving in 2011 for the American version. The new mum then returned in 2014 before departing again last year.

A source told The Sun newspaper last month that Cheryl was in talks to sign a £1.5 million deal to return in 2018.

“It looks like Cheryl will be back next year. Simon knows Nicole is likely to leave and he wants a big name, and some much-needed glamour on the panel,” the insider explained. “He knows he will get that with Cheryl and she would be a really popular signing and a huge hit.”

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Nicole Scherzinger had hinted she was going to quit – but seemingly changed her tune.

“I would love to come back if you would have me,” she told Jonathan Ross at the weekend. “Simon…they have asked me back so hopefully everything will work out.”

And Nicole added she put effort in when she was a mentor, saying: “People don’t realise that when I come over here I don’t fly back and forth to my home in LA. I stay and when I commit to The X Factor I put 1,000% into it.”

Now Louis Walsh – who says he’s already signed a deal to return next year – has backed Nicole to stay.

He insisted there was no bad blood with Cheryl, explaining: “There was never any hatchet [to bury]. We sometimes disagree on things, but she’s a great judge.”

But added to OK! Magazine: “Nicole is the best, though.”

Louis also praised 2011 judge Tulisa, saying: “Tulisa was great, she never gets any credit – she put Little Mix together, everybody forgets that.”

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For now, The X Factor 2017 live shows continue Saturday at 8:10PM and Sunday at 7:30PM on ITV.

It’s the fourth weekend of live shows and guest performers include reigning X Factor winner Matt Terry and BEP star Fergie.

The weekend’s first live show begins with a Crazy In Love theme.

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