X Factor 2012: Will.i.am confirms that Cheryl Cole WILL return to XF in 2013! But Simon Cowell has to give evidence in her lawsuit against X Factor USA first!

by Lynn Rowlands

US pop star Will.i.am has confirmed that Cheryl Cole WILL return to X Factor UK next year, saying of her return to the judging bench, “It’s going to be dope.”

Will, who is of course Cheryl’s manager – and a coach on The Voice UK – made the remark at a gala dinner in London on Saturday after it was reported that X Factor boss Simon Cowell and Cheryl had reached a “verbal agreement” that she would come back to X Factor in 2013 in a bid to rescue the show from falling ratings.

A show source confirmed the news, telling the Mirror, “Cheryl is coming back on TV in 2013 and will be working with Simon.

“People love to watch her. She was with X Factor at its peak.”

But of course, that means one of the existing judges has to go, and it’s understood that Tulisa Contostavlos won’t be invited back next year. Of the other judges, Simon is said to see Nicole Scherzinger as “a keeper”, Gary Barlow has intimated he won’t return – of his own volition – in 2013, but the fate of long-term judge Louis Walsh is yet to be decided.

However, as Simon has reportedly decided that he will only take part in X Factor UK in an overseeing role next year, it’s thought he may wish to keep Louis on the panel, given that he is Simon’s “eyes and ears” about what’s happening backstage.

But before any of that happens, The Sun reports that Simon is set to be called to give evidence in a lawsuit that Cheryl has lodged in the US against Blue Orbit Productions, who produce X Factor USA.

As we reported last week, she’s suing the company for loss of earnings because of course, she was hired as a judge on X Factor USA, but just days after starting work on the show, she was fired and sent home to the UK.

So that’s surely going to put Simon in an extremely difficult position, given that he evidently wants to re-employ someone who’s suing one of the production companies who’re behind his show!

#awkward indeed!

Here’s a reminder of Cheryl’s very brief appearance on X Factor USA…

Do you think Cheryl can save X Factor?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is a trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, Big Brother, BGT and I'm A Celeb.