She's still got the X Factor: Nicole Scherzinger to replace Kelly Rowland as permanent judge on UK show
19:27 GMT, 14 June 2012
She may have been unceremoniously axed from her judging role on X Factor USA after just one series.
But stunning Nicole Scherzinger is now set to join the UK series as a full-time judge – and her role will be announced within days, show sources have confirmed.
The 33-year-old girlfriend of F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was a stand-in judge at the London auditions last month – and has previously been a guest judge at auditions on the ITV talent hit.
Familiar face: Former X Factor USA judge Nicole Scherzinger will join the UK panel
And a source told the Mail: 'Nicole has always seemed more relaxed on the UK series.
'We love her and the judges love her. She seems very comfortable on set and at the auditions.'
X Factor producers were left searching for a new judge after Dannii Minogue turned down a 1 million deal to return to the show after they axed Kelly Rowland.
During recent auditions, Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell and Mel B, music newcomer Rita Ora, singer Anastacia and X Factor winner Leona Lewis have all been guest judges, alongside Miss Scherzinger.
Joining the panel: Scherzinger will replace Kelly Rowland alongside Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow
But the source said: ‘No-one really comes close to Nicole. We’re discussing contracts now.
'The only other person who is possibly in the frame is Mel.’
The X Factor will return to screens in August, with live shows from October and Miss Scherzinger would join Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos on the judging panel.
The singer could be on more than 500,000 as Barlow is on a 2 million deal.
Miss Scherzinger was originally hired as a co-host for the X Factor USA, which debuted in the States last year, alongside Steve Jones.
Didn't work out: Nicole with her X Factor USA co-stars Steve Jones, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid
However, after Cheryl Cole was axed after just four days of filming, the singer stepped in to replace her.
But X Factor supremo Simon Cowell dumped her and fellow judge Paula Abdul, as well as Steve Jones, after the series – replacing the judges with Britney Spears and Disney starlet Demi Lovato.
Following her appearance at the London auditions, the star tweeted: ‘Great day w/ @theXfactor @officialtulisa @gbarlowofficial @walshlife! We saw some amazing talent! Thanks UK for always being so kind to me! #grateful
And it seems that the singer is more than happy to bring a touch of Hollywood to the proceedings – after she held up auditions by an hour to get ready.
Geri Halliwell was thought to be a shoo-in for the job, until the audience booed her for her long-winded and, at times, self-serving and patronising comments to contestants.