Who Is Cheryl Cole? Newest ‘X Factor’ Judge Announced

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British singer Cheryl Cole will appear as a judge on TV talent show "The X Factor" in the United States

In Britain, they refer to her as the nation’s sweetheart. And now, reports say the 27 year-old Cheryl Cole has just landed a sweet gig in the States as the newest judge on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, which debuts later this year on Fox. But who is she, and will we clasp her to our hearts?

Cole (née Tweedy) hails from Newcastle, so can be called a Geordie, which is the nickname for the northeast region of England. She owes much of her success to Cowell. She rose through the reality ranks as part of the winning team on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (a forerunner to The X Factor in the U.K.) that mutated into the wildly successful group Girls Aloud. She has also sat next to Cowell for the past three years as a judge on X Factor U.K.

(More on TIME.com: 32 most epic reality moments of all time)

She’s also juggled a solo career with a high-profile marriage to English soccer player Ashley Cole, which was bumpy to say the least. Allegations of infidelity on his part led to their divorce last year, though there are rumors that they could be getting back together.

But that must now be considered unlikely as she’s set to take America by storm. Despite representing quite the gamble for Fox, Cowell confessed last week that her auditions went down well with network bosses. “I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with,” said Cowell. “She is also a complete brat! Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.”

The pair are known for their flirtatious and feisty relationship on The X Factor U.K., which may have persuaded the powers that be that this double act could be dynamic on both sides of the Atlantic (and considering that the show will be partially produced by Cowell’s Syco Television, he must have had a say in her appointment).

As for Cole, she’s “so excited to be taking part in the American version of The X Factor. I absolutely love it here in the U.K. and with the talent they have out in America, I’m sure we’re going to find someone very special. I can’t wait to get started.”

(More on TIME.com: See more on Cheryl Cole)

The only note of concern could be that Geordie accent. Because if some Brits find it hard to understand what she’s saying (catchphrase to listen out for if you can: “You are right up my street”) then the Americans may truly struggle. Cole joins Cowell and record exec L.A Reid on the judging panel with it thought that Cowell wants Paula Abdul to fill the fourth seat. But if she sticks to flashing her wide smile, giving her trademark salute and charming everyone she meets, Cheryl Cole might just have the biggest hit of her young life. (via The Sun)

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