Former "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole has reportedly been asked to go back to "The X Factor" U.S. with a salary raise as an incentive, but it is highly unlikely that she will accept the offer. She has publicly stated several times since she was fired from the show in May 2011 that she never wants to work with "The X Factor" executive producer Simon Cowell again. According to a Daily Mirror article published on March 9, 2013, Cole has been offered a significant salary raise that is more than the $1.6 million that she was reportedly paid for "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011.
As previously reported, Cole is suing "The X Factor" U.S. for $2.3 million that she says she is owed for her salary and other job-related costs. Cole claims that she signed a two-year contract with "The X Factor" U.S., and the contract required that she get paid for those two years, regardless if she stayed with the show or not. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in December 2012, Cole was paid for 2011 (the first year), but she says that she hasn't been paid for the second year (2012).
An unnamed source told the Daily Mirror: “Over the past two seasons, the U.S. 'X Factor' hasn’t performed as Simon would have wanted – now it looks like Cheryl will be the savior. He’s planning to put a massive contract on the table in the coming weeks, giving her the opportunity to return and prove him wrong once and for all. Obviously, there’s no certainty that she will decide to go for it, but it appears to be the closest right now to Cheryl returning to the 'X Factor' family.
“It’s going to be tough sell for Simon after the humiliation she originally suffered, but if he plays it right, it could happen and it would be a viewer’s dream. Cheryl has been quite adamant that she doesn’t want to head back to the U.K. version of the show after leaving so getting a slot on the U.S. one would be perfect.”
Cole was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2008 to 2010. She was a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. for less than a month before she was fired in May 2011. Cowell later told the media that he took "full responsibility" for firing Cole, and he said that Cole was fired because she seemed uncomfortable being on an American TV show and he wanted her to go back to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.K.
After she was fired, Cole later told the media that she not only turned down an offer to go back to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. but she also turned down an offer to be a judge on "Britain's Got Talent," another show executive produced by Cowell.
Ever since Cole's "X Factor" dismissal, British tabloids have reported false stories that she has been in talks to star in her own TV show. Cole has denied those stories and denied all reports that she is going back to being an "X Factor" judge.
By all accounts, after Cole was fired, she refused to communicate with Cowell for months, but she initiated an uneasy truce with him in October 2011. She detailed her perspective of the firing and other headline-making events in her life in her tell-all memoir "Cheryl: My Story." In the book, she denied speculation that she had campaigned to become a judge on "The X Factor" U.S., and she said that she got the job because Cowell had ordered her to leave "The X Factor" U.K. to be a judge with him on "The X Factor" U.S.
On "The X Factor" U.S., Cole was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger, who was fired after doing just one season with the show in 2011. Scherzinger, former "X Factor" U.S. judge Paula Abdul and former "X Factor" U.S. host Steve Jones were all let go on the same day in January 2012, as part of a massive shakeup in the show's on-camera staff. Cowell and Epic Records chairman/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid remained as judges on the show in 2012, but Reid quit by the end of the year because he said he wanted more time for his job at Epic.
In May 2012, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears replaced Scherzinger and Abdul. In October 2012, Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian replaced Jones, but Kardashian has reportedly been fired, while the show is keeping Lopez. (Representatives for the show will only say that decisions are being made about who's going to host the show in 2013.) Spears announced her departure from "The X Factor" U.S. in January 2013. The replacements for Reid and Spears haven't been announced yet.
And it still hasn't been announced yet if Lovato will continue to be an "X Factor" judge in 2013, but Lovato has said in recent interviews that she will say yes if she is asked. Cowell has also told the media that he wants Lovato to remain on the show's judging panel. As of now, Cowell is the only judge confirmed to be on the show in 2013.
Meanwhile on "The X Factor" U.K., Scherzinger was hired in June 2012 to replace Kelly Rowland as a judge. The other judges on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012 were Tulisa Contostavlos (who replaced Cole in 2011), Gary Barlow (who replaced Cowell in 2011) and Louis Walsh, who has been with the show since its 2004 debut. It has not yet been announced who will be the judges for the show's 10th season in 2013, but British tabloids have been reporting for months that Contostavlos is getting fired.
Cole sparked rumors that she may be considering returning to "The X Factor" U.K. in 2013, after she was seen having a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with "X Factor" executive producer Simon Cowell at his mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 28, 2012.
However, a source close to Cowell told the Daily Mirror that Cowell and Cole were "just shooting the breeze. He’s very fond of Cheryl. They’ve met up a few times in the last 18 months. This could pave the way for conversations down the line about 'X Factor' but it wasn’t about that.”
Cole's lawsuit now puts her meeting with Cowell in a different light. Was Cole meeting with Cowell to have an out-of-court settlement for her financial differences with "The X Factor" U.S.? Cole and Cowell aren't publicly commenting on what they discussed in the meeting, but her lawsuit makes it clear that she has no intention to work for "The X Factor" again.
In several interviews and on Twitter, Cole had stated that she would never return to "The X Factor," but she changed her mind in September 2012, when she made teamed up with Barlow to be a guest mentor on "The X Factor" U.K. during the "judges' houses" phase of the competition.
Cole subsequently told the media that she only made the guest appearance as a personal favor to Barlow, who's been a longtime friend of hers. In interviews, she continues to deny rumors that she is going to return as a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. or star in another TV show. Cole says that she wants to focus on other things, such as her music career.
Cole rose to fame in 2002 as a member of Girls Aloud, but she is still not well-known in the U.S., and she seems to have abandoned plans to break through in America. Her third solo album, "A Million Lights," was a hit in the U.K. and Ireland in 2012, but she said that there will not be a U.S. release or tour for "A Million Lights."
Will.i.am (of the Black Eyed Peas) is on Cole's management team. He and Cowell had a falling out after Cole was fired, but in 2012, Cowell and Will.i.am have since patched up their differences to a certain extent. Will.i.am (who is a coach/mentor on "The Voice" U.K.) was a guest mentor on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012, when he assisted Spears in evaluating contestants. Even though Cowell and Will.i.am are on friendlier terms than they were in the months after Cole's "X Factor" firing, that doesn't mean that Cole wants to work with Cowell again.
As for "The X Factor" U.S., all of these on-air talent changes every year are clear indications that the show is a mess. And if it's true that Cowell and company are desperate enough to beg Cole to come back to the show's judging panel, then that means many other (bigger) stars are rejecting their offers to be a judge on the show.