US X Factor Premiere: American Critics Prefer Cheryl To Nicole

After nearly a year of incessant hype, several judging bust-ups and a publicity budget that would put a large whol ein third world debt, US X Factor finally got underway last night.

But American critics reacted more favourably to Cheryl Cole – who appeared in the first hour of the show – than to Pussycat Doll Nicole Sherzinger, who replaced her.

Neil Glenzinger from the New York Times said: “The opening episode gives a surprising amount of screen time to Cheryl Cole, a British pop star whom Mr Cowell jettisoned from the panel last spring, in the middle of auditions.

“In the premiere she just kind of disappears mid-show, without much explanation, and suddenly Nicole Scherzinger is in her chair. It’s a downgrade. Ms Cole showed glimmers of being interesting; in two seasons as a judge on The Sing-Off on NBC, Ms Scherzinger was a pretty face but, judicially speaking, not much more than a seat warmer.”

“In early scenes (Nicole) seems more interested in tearing up and out-glamming (American Idol’s) Jennifer Lopez than bringing much to the commentary.”

Steve Johnson of The Chicago Tribune also came out defending the Geordie lass: “Scherzinger doesn’t come off as an obvious improvement in the early going. She’s more earnest like Kara DioGuardi than lovable like Jennifer Lopez.”