Tongues have been wagging ever since it was announced that Cheryl Cole had been dismissed as a judge for the North American version of Simon Cowell’s popular “X Factor.” The British bombshell is a favorite in her native land, where she is known as much for her break-up with her philandering ex-football star husband as for her role as judge on the popular televised singing competition. However, executives with the Fox network apparently didn’t feel she would connect well with North American audiences.
Cheryl Cole’s pronounced regional accent may be to blame. Cole is originally from the town of Newcastle upon Tyne in the northeastern region of England, and her accent differs considerably from what most American audiences are used to. But is it really that bad? While many consider the former singer’s accent to be endearing, the show’s producers expressed concerns that Cole’s “Geordie” accent made her hard to understand. According to the Daily Mail, those same producers have suggested to Cole that she return to the British version of “X Factor,” a notion which she has reported dismissed.
Other factors may have contributed to the dismissal. Some felt that the chemistry between Cheryl Cole and fellow judge Paula Abdul was lacking, and there were reports that Cole was homesick for the UK. Cole had herself expressed doubts about moving to the U.S. and was reportedly nervous about how she would be perceived by American audiences. She is currently believed to be in seclusion in her north London home.
In the meantime, production on “X Factor” is moving forward ahead of its September debut, with former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger taking Cole’s place. Scherzinger may be a more familiar face to American audiences, but it’s questionable whether she can ever match Cole for warmth and personality. Would Cheryl Cole have been a hit with American audiences? It looks like we’ll never know.
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