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Following an airing of the opening episode of US X Factor, US critics have been quick to disapprove of Simon Cowell's decision to axe Cheryl Cole.
Journalists who saw a preview of the show ahead of its broadcast said that Cheryl outshined her replacement, Nicole Scherzinger.
The New York Times wrote: "In the premiere she just kind of disappears mid-show, without much explanation, and suddenly Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls is in her chair.
"It's a downgrade. Ms Cole showed glimmers of being interesting."
The Los Angeles Times writes: "Cowell has said he replaced Cole because she seemed 'bewildered,' but on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie accent."
The Chicago Tribune said of Cheryl: "She seemed perfectly at ease with the other judges - and perfectly easy to understand."
The comments came after a recent interview with Piers Morgan, in which Simon said that Cheryl looked "a bit bewildered" on the judging panel.
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