‘IT’S NICOLE OR ME!’
If she returns to The X Factor, Cheryl risks reigniting an old feud. She’s had a frosty relationship with outspoken Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger since 2012, when she described their first meeting as ‘awkward’.
Now, an insider tells us Cheryl has made it clear she has no desire to work with Nicole.
‘Cheryl has found herself in the middle of a really tense standoff with Nicole, and it’s preventing her from signing up to a full-time X Factor comeback,’ a source explains. ‘Everyone was really surprised that Cheryl didn’t sit in the fourth judge’s chair when Simon was too ill to attend – especially as she was there anyway cheering on Liam.
‘But the truth is that there’s still a real underlying tension between Cheryl and Nicole that is making it impossible for them to sit on the judging panel together.’
Nicole, 39, fanned the flames of the feud when she was pictured hanging out with Cheryl’s ex-husband, JeanBernard Fernandez-Versini, in August.
‘Cheryl still seems really annoyed with Nicole that she was hanging out with JB, and posting it on her social media in the summer,’ the insider says. ‘Things are so tense that behind the scenes at The X Factor they appear to be going out of their way to avoid each other.
‘Simon was thrilled with how audiences reacted to Cheryl, and that’s made him more determined than ever to get her on board,’ says our insider.
‘Cheryl would like to come back – but nobody can see any chance of that happening while Nicole is still there.
‘Simon feels that he’s basically being told, “It’s Nicole or me,” and he’s always going to side with Cheryl in a situation.’
With Nicole pipped to return to the Pussycat Dolls, the songstresses could avoid an awkward working relationship. However, Nicole hinted she’s set to remain on the panel next year.
‘I’ve been asked to return and I’m hopeful we can make it work,’ she said last week.
Will the pop divas sit either side of Simon?
Watch this space…
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