Cheryl’s X Factor dilemma
The star is torn over whether to commit to a longterm return to the show
She paid tribute S to Simon Cowell on last week’s X Factor after his shock fall – and now insiders say Cheryl is torn over whether she can make a more permanent return to the hit show.
The singer, 34– who made a brief return to the series two weeks ago when she appeared alongside Simon at the Judges’ Houses round after taking time out to look after her new son, Bear – said last week: “First of all, I really miss you, Simon. I know you’ll be watching at home. You’re very, very missed and we love you.”
And despite Alesha Dixon filling in for Simon, fans still questioned why Cheryl – who was in the audience on the episode to support her boyfriend Liam Payne, 24, as he performed new single Bedroom Floor – hadn’t replaced the media mogul.
One viewer said, “Why doesn’t Cheryl just take Simon’s place? She’s right there”, while another commented, “Alesha over Cheryl? Bet she’s fuming. I thought she was meant to be some kind of X Factor queen?”
A pal says, “Cheryl was thrilled to be asked back for Judges’ Houses. Everyone’s been telling her that she’s the first person he’ll be calling on to replace him if the need arises. But she’s been loving her time out of the limelight and is really torn over whether it’s the right decision.”
And pals say a massive part of Cheryl’s dilemma is her doubts over working alongside ex-pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger.
There’s been bad blood between the pair since 2011, when Nicole, 39, took over from Cheryl on The X Factor US panel following her shock axeing.
Cheryl – who first appeared on X Factor in 2008 – later described their first encounter as “awkward” and “really embarrassing” in her autobiography, saying she was left cringing after Nicole sang her track Promise This back to her.
“I swear to God the woman sang the whole song, to my face. It was just so awkward,” she wrote.” Nicole later said of Cheryl’s remarks, “I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt and hope that she would only have spoken highly of me because I’ve not spoken poorly of her.”
In July Nicole also raised eyebrows when she was spotted on a night out with Cheryl’s ex-husband, French restaurateur Jean-bernard Fernandez-versini.
A source says, “Cheryl thinks it would be difficult doing the show alongside Nicole when there’s been tension in the past. She doesn’t know what she’ll do if Simon asks her.
“Bear is Cheryl’s priority at the moment. She can’t wait to relaunch her solo career, but she wants to strike the right balance between family life and her career. She wants as little stress as possible if she returns to X Factor long-term, and she’d definitely want a say on who was on the judging panel.”
Meanwhile, Simon, 58, said he had “a huge shock” when he was rushed to hospital after tumbling down the stairs at his London home due to low blood pressure, and missed the first two shows following doctors’ advice to rest.
The source says, “Cheryl’s been texting Simon a lot because she’s always been close to him. He’s been like a father figure to her and she wants to make sure that he’s OK.”
❛SHE THINKS IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT DOING THE SHOW WITH NICOLE AS THERE’S BEEN TENSION IN THE PAST❜