Reports and rumours began to emerge about Cheryl Cole being dropped from The X Factor USA judging lineup yesterday afternoon. No sources close to Cole, Cowell or Fox have confirmed or denied the claims, but it looks likely now that she will no longer be taking part in the talent show. Co-host Nicole Scherzinger will be a ready-made replacement for the 'Fight For This Love' popstar, but how in less than a month did things go sour so quickly for the singer? Digital Spy looks back at a rollercoaster 20 days for Cheryl.
Sunday, May 8: Cole, Cowell, Abdul and Reid begin their search for America's next big popstar in Los Angeles. Cheryl turns up in purple trousers, a peach top and giant fluffy hair, which is compared by many to the regular attire of Daphne from Scooby Doo. Cole tells reporters outside that she is "staking a lot" by launching a TV career in the US.
Monday, May 9: After the first day of auditions things appear to be going swimmingly for the Brit as she bonds with Reid and Abdul. The latter tweets to her followers pictures of her hugging the Girls Aloud singer and describes Cole as "a delight" and "fierce". There is no word on what Reid thinks, but apparently his son has a crush on Cole and plans to woo her.
Wednesday, May 11: The first whispers of discontent in the X Factor camp emerge as reports leak about audience members booing some of Cole's comments to the acts. Her PR team insist that all the judges have been heckled by the crowd and that she is holding up well. However, Paula Abdul's Twitter followers let their feelings be known about Cole grabbing the all-important seat next to Cowell. "Paula is our sweet little angel! Why is Simon letting that big-haired girl take her seat?" complains one Abdul fanatic. A show insider commented: "To see Cheryl in between Simon and Paula put her in the firing line."
Sunday, May 15: More bad news for Cheryl as her best friend and boss Simon Cowell mocks her new haircut. "It was the equivalent of five gallons of hairspray and then standing in the middle of a hurricane," laughs the Syco boss. Hairdressing guru Vidal Sassoon rubs it in, telling Cheryl that she needs to keep it short in the future.
Tuesday, May 17: Cheryl's Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh spreads some positive news, claiming that the popstar is "chuffed" with US audiences' response to her on the panel. "The Americans have been really welcoming," writes Walsh in her OK diary piece. "I know she loves Paula Abdul and from watching her on American Idol, I think they will get on brilliantly!"
Wednesday, May 18: It's silly season time in the tabloids as Cheryl is first of all forced to deny that she's had a boob job and is then linked to Hollywood movie roles following a whirlwind trip to the Cannes festival. Apparently Angelina Jolie has been telling her friends to work with the singer. Hmm...
Thursday, May 19: More positive news for Cole as Paula Abdul appears to be fully on board with Team Cheryl. Cole's mentor/friend/producer/manager/lover will.i.am claims that the pair have become best mates and are ganging up on Cowell backstage at the auditions. Maybe Cheryl pushed the whoopee cushion jokes on the Syco boss too far?
Friday, May 20: A new X Factor USA promo video is released for the show, but Cheryl is given the shortest spot in the film. Even Welsh export and host Steve Jones gets a more glam introduction to viewers.