After weeks of feverish speculation, it has been confirmed that Nicole Scherzinger will take Cheryl Cole’s place on the US X Factor.
"Nicole Scherzinger will be replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel of the X Factor," a representative of Fox said in a statement.
"Nicole will join Simon Cowell, LA Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5 million dollar recording deal."
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell has claimed he takes “full responsibility” for the decision to replace Cheryl with the former Pussycat Doll, and hopes they can remain “close friends”.
The music mogul told the Daily Mirror he was worried the Newcastle-born star was "uncomfortable" in America and offered to give her a place back in the UK show which would have earned her around £2.5 million.
When she refused that, Simon said he offered to take her back to America but she again turned him down.
"The hardest thing to accept is that everyone has painted me as a monster because I embarrassed her, but the truth was I was protecting her," he said.
“I just want people to be in the best place at the right time."
Simon said he had received a text from Cheryl saying she felt let down but understood the decision.
"We are close friends. I still hope we are but sometimes when you're that close, when you're making these decisions with someone's life, you have to be certain," he said.