It's been heavily rumored for weeks that Cheryl Cole was fired from her judging post on the U.S. version of The X Factor, but as Fox and executive producer Simon Cowell refused to comment, counter-rumors started to fly over the weekend claiming that Cole was going to stay on after all, mostly owing to her pay-or-play $1.5 million contract. Consider those put to rest, since Fox finally issued a statement today confirming that Cole is off the show and will be replaced by singer Nicole Scherzinger, the former Pussycat Doll and judge of NBC's The Sing-Off, who originally signed on to co-host X Factor (now that job will fall solely to another British import, U.K. presenter Steve Jones). Still up in the air: How exactly the producers will edit around this upheaval when X Factor finally premieres in the fall.
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