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June 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Cole and Cowell (London Daily Mirror)

Simon Cowell confirmed on Monday that British singer Cheryl Cole was dropped from his U.S. version of The X Factor after she appeared to be “uncomfortable” while taping the early audition shows. He attributed her unsatisfactory performance on her personal problems — she recently split with soccer star Ashley Cole — and a recent bout with malaria. His initial plan was to stage a “triumphant return” for her to the U.K. version of the show at double the amount of her U.S. fee. “It wasn’t that she was terrible — she was good — I just thought she’d be happier in the U.K.,” Cowell insisted in an interview with the London Sun. “It was nothing to do with her accent.” He maintained that negotiations with the singer had appeared to be going smoothly. “There was an offer of around £2.5 million [about $4 million] on the table including bonuses. … She asked if she could have my dressing room at the studio and I said ‘of course.’ But all of Cowell’s best-laid plans apparently went awry when reports that Cole was being removed from the U.S. show was leaked. “When the story got out it changed everything. There was no more communication.” Cowell insisted that even then he opened negotiations with Cole’s manager,, for her to return to the U.S. show. “We got back in touch and said, ‘OK, well she is still under contract with the U.S. show,’ so we invited her back. Her position was still there. We had some heated conversations with and he inferred this wasn’t a genuine offer.” Cowell said that he always had the “best intentions.” He objected to being depicted in the press “as a monster because I embarrassed her. But the truth was I was protecting her.”