Cheryl Cole (Who?) Joins The X Factor

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Prince Charles photobombs Cheryl Cole's red carpet photo

Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood is reporting that former American Idol mainstay Simon Cowell has chosen his fellow judges for the United States launch of the British musical competition The X Factor: Paula Abdul, music exec L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, just who the heck is Cheryl Cole, anyway?

To completely answer that question would require a historical overview of the last fifteen years worth of multimedia cross-promotion of British pop music, starting with Spice World. So, let’s sum that up with a reminder that the British love reality television pop way more than Americans do, and skip ahead: Cole (n?e Tweedy, but no relation to the lead singer of Wilco) is a member of Girls Aloud, the winners of 2002 reality-pop show Popstars: The Rivals. Girls Aloud went on to set a number of UK chart records (like, say, twenty consecutive top-ten singles).

Girls Aloud win Best Single at the 2009 BRIT Awards for “The Promise”

When the group went on “indefinite hiatus,” Cole joined the judges’ panel of the UK X Factor (replacing Sharon Osbourne). So she’s well familiar with the style of the show, which involves “mentoring” the artists within an assigned category (in the UK version “Boys,” “Girls,” “Over-28s,” and “Groups”).

It’s probably also worth noting that the event that transformed Cheryl Cole from simply being a pop star into her current position as something of a national icon was when her husband, famed soccer star Ashley Cole, was revealed to be a serial philanderer. The British tabloids ultimately discovered that he had been having extramarital affairs with not one, not two, but at least SEVEN women, a story that played out in the newspapers and forced her to deal with the kind of public humiliation that only super famous people ever have to deal with. However, in a twist, the brave way in which she dealt with these awful circumstances was actually what that cemented her popularity with the British population and, in some weird way, might have been the best thing to ever happen to her (at least as far as her career is concerned).

So, there you have it. What do you guys think? Do you think that she’s the kind of person that you’ll want to watch on television week in and week out? Or are you going to wait to judge her until she gets a chance to prove herself on-air?

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