Cheryl Cole Joins X Factor

The British pop star will join Simon Cowell's judging panel on the talent competition.

Jennifer Lopez charmed us on American Idol. Christina Aguilera is building The Voice into a ratings winner. And now Simon Cowell is hoping there’s room for one more pop beauty to search the U.S. for the next big singing thing. Twenty-seven-year-old British pop star Cheryl Cole will join Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid on the judging panel when the British import The X Factor premieres on Fox this fall.

Cole, who got her start on the U.K. version of the Idol-esque reality show Popstars, was cast for “her beauty, her accent and her incredible chemistry with Simon Cowell,” executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said in a statement. The beauty checks out: in England she’s the face of L’Oreal. But while the accent will no doubt sound as prim as Julie Andrews to North American ears, her rural “Geordie” dialect is mocked by the Brits.

As for her relationship with Cowell, “chemistry” is a loaded term. “She is also a complete brat!” he said in a statement, adding, “Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.” Cowell has yet to announce the final judge on the panel, although America’s nonsensical sweetheart Paula Abdul is a strong contender. Lead Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is the rumoured frontrunner to host.