Cheryl Cole (pictured on the left), is a huge celebrity in Britain. First, she was in a wildly successful girl group called Girls Aloud, then she went on to be one of the hosts of Simon Cowell’s UK X-Factor. Cowell naturally assumed that exporting Cole’s charming television persona to the US would be a slam-dunk. Along with Paula Abdul, Cole was set to star in the US version of the X-Factor, but of course it wasn’t long before rumors began to fly that ladies just can’t work together without being jealous, and then Cole was mysteriously fired from the show and replaced with Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger.
First there were allegations that at a photocall for all three of the X-Factor judges, Cole was “fuming” when Cowell wanted to have a couple of shots of just him and Paula.
There were even numerous articles arguing that Paula Abdul had “outshone” and “outclassed” Cole on the red carpet by wearing — gasp — the same color dress.
The most recent rumor is that the American TV bosses felt that Cole’s Geordie accent would just be too strong for the average American to understand her — in fact, even her native Britain makes fun of her accent with The Guardian offering a “translation” for one of her recent appearances:
Yer’s alreet on the sleur ones, but whatzza racket am I hearing noo, man? My advice is to concentrate on ballads
Yer dazzlin’, pet! Keep gannin’ like that and youse’ll be a starYou’re very good. Your career has a lot of potential
Simon’s mad. Yer singin’ was al ower the place! Like Shola Ameobi clean through on goal I disagree with the other judges. That for me was not your best performance
And so on.
Here’s a Youtube video interview with Cole and you’re free to decide for yourself, but personally I have no trouble understanding her. But the most recent word from Cole herself is that she hasn’t been given a reason for her dismissal from the show, and that she’s been told to “get a grip,” or she’ll lose her spot on the British program as well.
Whatever the reason, Cole has taken quite a press beating these last couple of weeks. The press coverage in the UK and the US differs slightly, with the US focusing more on a bitch fight and the UK focusing more on class concerns. It’s somewhat galling that the initial assumption was that Paula couldn’t handle Cole potentially stealing her spotlight and had her booted for… whatever reason. Or that the X-Factor just couldn’t work that Professor Higgins magic on their fair lady in the end and Miss Doolittle had to totter back to her classless beginnings.
Because, if I recall correctly, wasn’t Victoria Beckham being considered for a spot on American Idol, and then they passed on her? And I can’t recall anyone suggesting that Beckham’s accent was going to be too confusing for Americans, since she has such a nice upper-class brogue, but I do remember there being hints that Beckham didn’t quite “get along” with her female counterpart. I mean, my God — they even made enormous hay out of Kara DioGuardi’s “feud” with Bikini Girl.
Every once in a while, can’t we assume that women might be able to get along in the workplace and that Cole’s termination has little to do with how much Paula Abdul wants to pull her hair or smack her in the face with a well-stuffed pillow?
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