Cheryl Cole is the talk of the town after her first day as a US X Factor judge – even though her Geordie accent left several contestants tongue-tied.
She was such a hit at the Los Angeles auditions that the 3,000-strong crowd began chanting: “We Love Cheryl.”
But when it came to her Newcastle dialect, a few things got lost in translation. One baffled 15-year-old boy replied, “I’m fine”, when asked how old he was. Then when she asked his name, the lad looked blank and mumbled: “I’m sorry, can you repeat the question.”
Later Cheryl, 27, asked the name of a singer and had to repeat the question when the girl said: “Excuse me?”
From then on she spoke more slowly, a tactic that more or less paid off. But when another teenage boy said: “Sorry?” after she asked him a question it raised a wry smile from Simon Cowell.
Cheryl, wearing an orange Oscar de la Renta top with purple flares and with her hair teased into a bouffant, got a rapturous reception from waiting fans when she arrived at the Galen Center and stepped out of a black SUV.
She also got a warm welcome from fellow judge Paula Abdul who introduced the Girls Aloud singer to the audience, saying: “She’s a superstar in her own right, welcome Cheryl Cole.”
A visibly nervous Cheryl, who revealed she was told she had got the job by Simon Cowell on Skype, then said: “I’m thrilled to be here. You might have to bear with me and the accent just a bit… I hope you are all looking forward to getting to know me.”