British media are reporting that Nicole Scherzinger, who earlier this year was booted from the U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s X Factor along with Paula Abdul and Steve Jones, has joined the UK incarnation of the competition series as a judge replacing former Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland. A report surfaced in the Daily Mail and other outlets quickly followed. Scherzinger was replaced by Britney Spears on the U.S. X Factor. Scherzinger initially was offered £500K ($777K) to join the show, the Mirror reported, but negotiated a higher fee and will receive £750K ($1.17M). She is expected to join fellow judges Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos for Monday’s auditions in Newcastle, the Sun reported. An announcement is expected shortly.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s television coverage.
The X Factor creator, executive producer and judge Simon Cowell disclosed today that in Season 2, the show will return to its original template of two co-hosts — a male and a female — which was in place last year with Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger until Cheryl Cole was sent home and Scherzinger moved to the judges’ table. Cowell also confirmed that the two new mentors replacing the axed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger will be female. Beyond that, Cowell wouldn’t give specifics during an afternoon conference call with reporters promoting the show’s Season 2 auditions that launch nationwide on March 1.
BREAKING… EXCLUSIVE: Today at The X Factor there was a bloodbath which just claimed its biggest name. Not only are host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger exiting from the Fox show, but now a Simon Cowell …
Embattled The X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger wouldn’t commit to continuing on the Fox singing series, which has been renewed for a second season. Asked at a press conference whether she’d return if asked, the Pussycat Dolls singer didn’t give a straight answer, saying, “I’ve had a lot of fun this season. The reason I took this job is I wanted to mentor, first and foremost. … It has been very hard on me, the elimination process. It’s something I could never have been prepared for.” Scherzinger, a last-minute replacement for original judge Cheryl Cole, has received mostly negative feedback from fans and recently found herself at the center of a controversy surrounding the surprise elimination of 13-year-old Rachel Crow. Scherzinger didn’t speak to that controversy at the media gathering hyping the two-part first-season finale this Tuesday and Wednesday, where she was sitting beside Josh Krajcik, the bearded, shaggy-haired singer she is mentoring into the finals. (The other two finalists, also present at the press conference, are Melanie Amaro — mentored by Simon Cowell — and the L.A. Reid-mentored Chris Rene.) “For me, what’s important is to live in the moment. I’ve got to get Josh through this and to come out swinging,” Scherzinger said. “So I’m just going to focus on doing a really good job with Josh here.”
‘X Factor’ Premiere Falls Short
It’s been an exhausting week for Fox’s reality chief Mike Darnell, who hasn’t slept much since the end of last week as he also oversaw the network’s Emmy telecast on Sunday. And he barely got some shut-eye last night, awaiting the ratings for the premiere of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor. They came in below most expectations: a 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers in the fast nationals, falling short of the January season premiere of American Idol (9.7/26, 21.6 million viewers in the fast nationals) as well as the April debut of NBC’s The Voice (5.1/13, 11.8 million) in the demo. (In the finals, X Factor is expected to go up 2 tenths to a 4.4 rating, though the other 2 shows also were adjusted up in the finals). Cowell had been talking about his goals of beating Idol in the ratings and averaging some 20 million viewers for The X Factor. Darnell dismisses that as “Simon’s showmanship, something you’ve got to love him for.” But “we lived with the reality that there is an enormous interest in every show during premiere week, and honestly, we’re just relieved this morning. Other than crazy expectations, this is a very good premiere.”
Darnell points to the fact that fall has been traditionally tough for Fox and that The X Factor delivered Fox’s best premiere Wednesday ratings in 18 years and was the network’s most-watched fall debut in five years. “If it stays close to a 4 (rating in 18-40) for the 40 hours it’s on the air, that would be amazing for us,” he said. He declined to address the higher premiere number for NBC’s upstart The Voice, but I hear Fox’s explanation is that, because of Idol, there is a built-in appetite for singing competitions in midseason that might have helped The Voice.
MONDAY: She was sought after for both the U.K. and the U.S. versions of X Factor. Now Cheryl Cole won’t be a part of either of them. After getting axed from the upcoming Fox edition of the singing competition, there was speculation that Cole would return to the British version of the show. But no deal was reached, and the X Factor network ITV announced earlier today that the judges for the upcoming season of the show will be Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and the only returning member of the panel, Louis Walsh. “These four are totally up for it, each of them bring a different attitude,” X Factor chief Simon Cowell said in a statement. “They have had a ton of hits between them and they are all committed to finding a star.” Cowell, who made an appearance as a judge on his other U.K. talent competition series, Britain’s Got Talent, over the weekend, got ribbed by co-host Dec over Cole’s dismissal. “Can you understand my accent Simon,” asked Dec, who shares the same Geordie roots as Cole.
Multi-talented performer and chart-topping artist Nicole Scherzinger and British TV personality Steve Jones will host THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Scherzinger, who recently served as a guest judge on the U.K. version of “The X Factor,” is a singer, songwriter and performer and Jones began his career as a fashion model and has gone on to host some of the U.K.’s biggest TV shows.
‘X FACTOR’S DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA: Paula Abdul Asked To Show Up As Judge Without Done Deal; Nicole Scherzinger Didn’t Want Corbin Bleu As Co-Host; Now Steve Jones Done Deal As Replacement
EXCLUSIVE: Simon Cowell sure knows how to turn up the behind-the-scenes drama on TV shows, whether he’s appearing on them or producing them. I’ve just learned that Paula Abdul has been asked to show up for the judges panel for his U.S. version of The X Factor in Los Angeles on Sunday. But here’s the thing: I’m told her deal still isn’t done yet but is in “final negotiations.” Reps are working all day and probably all night to get it done before tomorrow’s 1 PM and 6 PM tapings of auditions with wannabe contestants when the full judgespanel assembles for the first time at USC’s Galen Center. But Simon Cowell is counting on his former American Idol sidekick to show up anyway because, hey, they’re friends. ”But will she really show up? No way her reps will let her go if that deal isn’t done,” an insider just told me. The sticking point at first was that CBS still had a hold on Abdul stemming from her deal to headline another TV talent series as lead judge, Live to Dance, which debuted in January 2011 only to be canceled after one season. CBS wasn’t letting Paula go to Fox at first. That now seems to have been ironed out, but there still are several deal points to finalize. “She’s been asked to show up tomorrow whether her deal is done or not,” an insider explained to me.
Meanwhile, there’s also been behind-the-scenes drama regarding picking the hosts for The X Factor.