It's the question that all talent show aficionados have been asking since May - just what happened with Cheryl Cole's quest to break American television?
When the nation's sweetheart was axed from X Factor USA after just a few weeks' filming on the show, rumour and innuendo was rife as to why. Was her Geordie accent too much for an American audience, had she fallen out with Paula Abdul, was she homesick or had Fox television never wanted Simon Cowell's golden child in the first place?
Well, of course we'll never know the whole truth about this turbulent time, but now Simon Cowell has added to his account of what happened this spring.
"I was talking to somebody about this who was at the screening [of X Factor USA] the other
night, and they put it very well. She [Cheryl Cole] looked a bit bewildered," Cowell told Piers Morgan, a former Britain's Got Talent judge, in a CNN interview due to be broadcast tomorrow night.
“Not everyone is like you, Piers. You come to a country like America,
it’s a big deal, takes a while to adjust. And I took the view along with
a few other people that she would have been more comfortable back in the
UK,” the media mogul continued.
When asked if he felt bad about the way the situation had played out, Cowell said: "Because it was public, of course. I think if she'd've taken the UK gig, nobody would be feeling bad right now."
"But that's what you have to do when you produce, you have to make decisions in the moment, and I take full responsibility for it," he concluded.
However, with today's news that Michael McIntyre has quit his role as a judge on Britain's Got Talent - and that a certain Ms Cole is top of Cowell's wish list to replace him - perhaps this story still has a little further to run after all...
The X Factor USA launches on Fox in America tomorrow night and will be screened on ITV2 in the UK a day later.