By Daily Mail Reporter


Shock and dismay: This will be the first and only episode of X Factor USA Cheryl Cole will appear on

She had big dreams of conquering America and even bigger hair, but tonight Cheryl Cole fell decidedly flat after making a blink-and-you-miss it appearance on X Factor USA.

The 28-year-old was unceremoniously dumped midway through the launch show, which aired on the Fox network tonight after months of hype.

She was introduced as one of Britain's most successful pop stars in the opener, but later vanished without any proper explanation to viewers.

Over Cole: Cheryl Cole fell flat during the series premiere of X Factor USA tonight

It was quite the disappearing act, with a voiceover from Steve Jones that said: 'With a new city comes a big change – the arrival of a new judge.'

When asked about his controversial decision, Simon Cowell, 50, recently said he replaced Cole because she seemed 'bewildered' - and many may well agree.

While some U.S. critics today branded replacement Scherzinger a 'downgrade', those who had watched Cole for years on the British X Factor were certainly left wondering where her stardust had gone.

Goodbye girl: The 28-year-old singer has left the X Factor building

Happy days: Her time on the show was brief, but the Girls Aloud singer looked happy back in the day

When she joined the U.K. version in 2008 fresh from her split from footballer Ashley Cole, she immediately became a television darling who was sassy, sharp and sparkling onscreen.

Her chemistry with Cowell was undeniable, and he unapologetically made her his favourite on the panel, which then included Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh.

But her charisma and well, x factor, didn't seem to follow when she jettisoned across the pond earlier this year.

During the first round of auditions in Los Angeles, she was left out in the cold by Cowell, who was busy rekindling his spark with his former American Idol cohort, Paula Abdul.

Cole seemed lost without her mentor and boss by her side and seemed to parrot critiques and rely on familiar material.

Even her once-admired taste in fashion had vanished - her teased hair, and ill-advised colour-block orange top and purple trousers combination failed to impress.

But it is unclear if her replacement will fare much better. So far, critics have been unimpressed with Scherzinger.

Just the two of us: Cheryl's gone, but Paula Abdul is still judging

The Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara wrote: 'In early scenes [Nicole] seems more interested in tearing up and out-glamming Idol’s Jennifer Lopez than bringing much to the commentary.'

But like the talent, it will be up to the viewers to decide if they like her smile and short skirts.

Welsh host Steve Jones also received a battering from the critics, with one branding him 'utterly irrelevant'

The star of the judging panel is perhaps record label heavyweight L.A. Reid, who is shaping up to be a tough, no-nonsense rival to Cowell.

Cole will still received her full $1.8 million (£1.2m) fee despite being axed so quickly into filming.

After being fired in June, she rejected an offer to return to the British version of the show, and an opportunity to work on Britain’s Got Talent.

Gleeful: Nicole Scherzinger was more than happy to take the vacated spot

The new panel: Nicole Scherzinger has replaced Cole

The X Factor has been Cowell’s big venture and he has staked his reputation on making it a success, particularly as the U.S.’s other big reality show American Idol made by his rival Simon Fuller, pulls in big ratings.

It differs from American Idol because it has no upper age limit and groups can take part too.

Cowell had originally brought Cheryl to the U.S to work with him but she was axed after just four auditions.

Drama! How Simon Cowell probably feels about the dramatic X Factor situation

Simply stunning: The Pussycat Dolls frontwoman is Simon's new choice

On the outs: The singer looked unhappy even while promoting the show in May

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