When the show opens, in L.A. for open auditions, the fourth judge is Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole, but by the time they move to Seattle, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls has taken her place. Cowell has said he replaced Cole because she seemed “bewildered,” but on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie accent. Scherzinger certainly knows her way around reality, having judged on the U.K. version and “The Sing-off” as well as competing on “Dancing With the Stars,” but in early scenes she seems more interested in tearing up and out-glamming “Idol’s” Jennifer Lopez than bringing much to the commentary.
The NY Times
“Two of the other judges are familiar: L. A. Reid, the record producer, and Paula Abdul. (Steve Jones is the utterly irrelevant host.) The opening episode gives a surprising amount of screen time to Cheryl Cole, a British pop star whom Mr. Cowell jettisoned from the panel last spring, in the middle of auditions.
In the premiere she just kind of disappears midshow, without much explanation, and suddenly Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls is in her chair. It’s a downgrade. Ms. Cole showed glimmers of being interesting; in two seasons as a judge on “The Sing-Off” on NBC, Ms. Scherzinger was a pretty face but, judicially speaking, not much more than a seat warmer.”
The Chicago Tribune
“The fourth judge was, first, singer Cheryl Cole, imported from the British “X Factor.” But Cowell essentially halts her audition in the first episode, replacing her, we learn via voiceover, with Nicole Scherzinger — lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, if that counts as a musical credit.
He told Piers Morgan that Cole had seemed “bewildered” in the role, although Scherzinger doesn’t come off as an obvious improvement in the early going. She’s more earnest like Kara DioGuardi than lovable like Jennifer Lopez.”
Simon will regret this for the rest of his life!