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Cheryl's out: New UK 'X Factor' judging panel line-up is announced

31 MAY 2011

The line-up for the new series of The X Factor has finally been announced.

After months of speculation, ITV have released a statement on Twitter confirming that the four judges are Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos.

Louis is the only remaining member of the panel from last year's show.

Noticeably, there was no mention of Cheryl Cole, who was recently axed from the US X Factor after just three weeks.


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TV executives had reportedly hoped that the 27-year-old would decide to return to the British version following her American departure, but both she and her manager Will.i.am reportedly refused to take their calls.

As a result, they withdrew their offer.

A source told the Daily Mail: "People have been trying to speak to her and persuade her this would be a good idea, but she's been uncontactable.

"She hasn't returned phone calls. And you can't exactly negotiate with someone who won't even speak to you."

There has still be no official comment from the US X Factor or Cheryl – who is said to be holed up in a flat in London with her mum.

The new British judging panel swings into action on Wednesday for the first auditions at Birmingham, before heading to Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, London and Liverpool.


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And, following the confirmation announcement, Louis, Tulissa (left), Kelly and Gary have all expressed their delight at their starring roles in series eight of the show.

Tulissa, 22, said in a statement: "I'm so excited to be joining The X Factor and want to bring something fresh and new to the panel.

"I'm not going to be afraid to speak my mind and mix things up a little. I am hoping to find some hot new talent and mentor a winning category. It's also going to be great to get to know and work alongside the other judges. Let the fireworks begin!"

Former Destiny's Child singer Kelly, 30, said she was looking forward to spending time in "one of her favourite places in the world", adding: "The music coming out of the UK right now us incredible… so I'm confident this season of The X Factor will give me the opportunity to hear a few diamonds in the rough.

"Being a judge is never easy, but I promise to be as sternly honest as I can and also encourage everyone who crosses the stage. I can't wait to meet the world's next superstar."


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Take That's Gary (left) has been equally enthusiastic. "I've always been a fan of the show and always enjoyed performing on it too," he said. "My one goal is to find a global superstar. If I don’t find one, I haven’t done my job."

Louis, meanwhile, added: "I'm delighted to be back for my eighth series... It's my favourite job in the world and I'm really excited to work with Gary and the rest of the new panel.

"I'm the last original judge standing and I'm determined to find an act that can win this year and show the other's how it is done."

A quote from Simon – still appearing as a US X Factor judge – simply said: "These four are totally up for it, each of them bring a different attitude.

"They have had a ton of hits between them and they are all committed to finding a star. I have a feeling Louis and Tulissa will have slightly different points of view as to what the next star should look and sound like!"

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