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Get To Know New ‘X Factor USA’ Judge Cheryl Cole

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

In an interview with's Nikke Finke last week, Simon Cowell revealed that he wanted "X Factor U.K." judge Cheryl Cole for the judging panel on "The X Factor USA." And sure enough, since Simon almost always gets his way, it was officially announced today that Cheryl has landed the job.

"I'm thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with," Simon said today in a press release. "She is also a complete brat! Most importantly, this girl can spot talent."

"I'm so excited to be taking part in the American version of 'The X Factor,'" added the 27-year-old Cheryl. "I absolutely love it here in the U.K., and with the talent they have out in America, I'm sure we're going to find someone very special. I can't wait to get started."

I know I can't wait. As a longtime avid viewer of "The X Factor U.K." online, I've always enjoyed what Cheryl brings to the table. Any American who's watched the British version of the show already knows that she makes for great TV...and no, her working-class Newcastle accent is not that hard to understand. (According to some reports, her accent was a stumbling block for producers, who feared her broad brogue would alienate xenophobic audiences over here.) Plus, she is simply gorgeous. The camera LOVES her. Just see your yourself below:

In his Finke interview, Simon denied that there was ever any push-back from Fox regarding his adamant decision to bring Cheryl to America. (Other reasons given for this rumored push-back: her name sounding too much like Sheryl Crow's, her criminal record stemming from a 2003 assault charge, and the fact that she's basically an unknown in the States.) "No, absolute opposite," Simon said. "[The Fox network's] Mike Darnell and Peter Rice will tell you they wanted her all the time. I showed a tape to Mike Darnell two years ago of a clip I'd shot in England of Cheryl and he said there and then, 'I'd hire her now for 'Idol.' They absolutely fell in love with her. In a way, the deal, it was almost conditional on Cheryl having the gig. They were desperate for her."

In today's aforementioned press release, executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz backed up Simon's statement, asserting: "As a young artist whose talent show discovery led to almost immediate stardom, Cheryl's career exemplifies the promise of 'The X Factor.' Her empathy and passion for identifying and nurturing undiscovered talent has made her a huge hit with British audiences, and I have no doubt America will fall in love with her beauty, her accent and her incredible chemistry with Simon Cowell."

Cecile was referring to Cheryl's humble beginnings on another TV talent show, "Popstars," which spawned her massively successful group Girls Aloud, who released 20 top 10 U.K. singles (including four number ones) between 2002-2009 and were actually totally awesome. Check out one of Girls Aloud's music videos below...and ignore the title, since Cheryl actually gives good advice on "The X Factor" most of the time, and has groomed two "X Factor" champions since she took over for Sharon Osbourne in 2008:

Cheryl is already a household name in the U.K. not only because of her pop music and TV exposure, but her tabloid marriage to (and eventual tabloid divorce from) soccer star Ashley Cole, which followed her big "Popstars" break. (Before that, she was known as Cheryl Tweedy.) Now, in a bit of incestuous American reality-TV synergy, the British beauty is romantically linked to "Dancing With The Stars" pro Derek Hough, who starred in and choreographed her 2010 solo video, "Parachute":


So, will Cheryl be as big a hit Stateside as she is across the pond? My guess is YES. She might even upstage Simon. "I just can't decide whether I am more excited to find and nurture the talent or for the unbelievable amount of amusement and entertainment I will have watching Simon doing everything and anything he can to beat me," Cheryl said today. "He's tried to beat me for three years in the U.K., and hasn't even come close. His ego must be so bruised. America is gonna love this."

Watch Cheryl perform her hit solo single "Fight For This Love" on the British "X Factor" below, and get ready to see her fight with Cowell on U.S. television in September!

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