Is CNN host-in-waiting Piers Morgan getting back at his buddy Simon Cowell?
Morgan told reporters at his alma mater, the tabloid News of the World, that singer Cheryl Cole and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls will be the judges on the American version of "X-Factor." His comments come nearly three months after Cowell blabbed to the press about Morgan's negotiations with CNN.
Cole has been a judge on the original version of the talent competition in the UK since 2008. Scherzinger, who recently won ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," would be new to the show (Update: Scherzinger served as a guest judge for on a September audition episode of UK "X-Factor"). The pair would join executive producer Simon Cowell, who left his seat on the "American Idol" judge's panel in January to focus on bringing "X-Factor" across the pond.
"American Idol" is still a reliable ratings powerhouse for Fox, but with a slate of entirely new judges and steadily declining viewership, Fox needs "X-Factor" to be a worthy heir for Cowell's exit to pay off.