America got its first taste of Cheryl Cole’s British invasion on Sunday, May 8, when the gorgeous “X Factor U.K.” judge taped her first episode of the U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s show at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. As Simon semi-jokingly told L.A. reporters, “Having Cheryl on the show shows that actually, British people can be nice,” Cheryl herself explained her kinder, gentler judging style, saying, “The trick with Simon is to be as honest as he likes to be, but I try to do it in a polite way.”
Exhibiting her universal charm to American reporters, many of whom still hardly knew she was (although that will surely soon change), reality show veteran Cheryl seemed extremely relaxed, and said she wasn’t worried about Stateside audiences embracing her. “Not really, but only because it’s this [judging] side of me–if it was my music, then yes, absolutely [I’d be worried],” she said. “But I feel like the contestants are the ones with the nerves, and it’s about me helping someone else with their dream.”
Cheryl also didn’t seem worried about American viewers being able to comprehend her regional Northern English accent, pooh-poohing rumors that she’s working with a dialect coach. “I would never, ever change how I speak, and I think Americans understand that, and I quite like that fact,” she said in her heavy, but not at all indecipherable, Newcastle brogue.
Still, Cheryl acknowledged that she’s taking a huge career risk by moving across the pond. “It’s a big step for me. I have a lot at stake myself. I’ve left the U.K. ‘X Factor’ and I am in a foreign country, so it’s strange for me. It’s a big deal….I miss the U.K. already, but I’m such a homebody that this is really good for me to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself.”