The highly anticipated American version of the “X-Factor” has already created media buzz after premiering Wednesday night.
Controversy surrounds “X-Factor” judge Simon Cowell’s decision to fire fellow judge British Cheryl Cole from the show.
The British singing sensation previously served as a judge on the U.K.’s version of “X-Factor,” and appeared alongside Cowell during auditions in Los Angeles before she was let go from the American show.
“I took the view, along with a few other people, that she would have been more comfortable back in the U.K.,” Cowell said while on “Piers Morgan.”
Although short-lived, Cole’s position as judge has earned her praise. After viewing a sample of the show ahead of its broadcast, fans and critics claim Cole greatly surpasses her replacement, Nicole Scherzinger.
“It’s a downgrade. Ms. Cole showed glimmers of being interesting,” The New York Times reported.
“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,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
Also, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune reviewed Cole, writing that Scherzinger is not an “obvious improvement” to the British singer.
Actress Lisa Rinna expressed her opinion on Twitter, writing, “I understood every word Cheryl Cole said did you? I think she’s sweet, lovely and vulnerable all amazing qualities for a show like this.”
Viewer Kyle wrote, “I want Cheryl Cole back!”
“I like Nicole Scherzinger and all but Cheryl Cole lights up my screen everytime they show her,” wrote Twitter user Charles.
Scherzinger joins Cowell, Paula Abdul, and L.A. Reid at the judges table.
The judges use their own experience to discover America’s next superstar, and offer the biggest prize in television history this season: a $5 million record deal.
“X Factor” is different from “American Idol” in that contestants may be younger than 15-years-old, and Wednesday night’s premiere saw 13-year-old Rachel Crowe sing an exciting version of Duffy’s “Mercy.”
Also, “X Factor” allows contestants to sing along with music onstage, and auditions take place in front of a large audience as opposed to a private stage on “Idol.”
Other contestants on Wednesday night’s episode included Chris Rene, a 28-year-old father and trash-collector who was recently released from rehab. Rene promised the judges that if they allowed him to compete, that he would remain sober.
In addition, 42-year-old single mother Stacy Francis, who sang “Natural Woman,” was admitted to the competition, along with many other diverse contestants.
New episodes of “X Factor” air Thursdays on FOX at 8 p.m. EST.