Singer Scherzinger named judge on UK's X Factor

Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:56pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Singer Nicole Scherzinger has been named as a judge on the British version of ratings juggernaut "The X Factor", less than six months after being fired from the U.S. edition of the TV show.

The 33-year-old American is replacing compatriot Kelly Rowland, and joins Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos, all of whom appeared last season.

"I can't wait to see what talent the UK has to offer and to help inspire and bring out the best in these artists," the former Pussycat Dolls singer said on Friday on the official website of the hit show.

"The X Factor" is aired in Britain on the commercial channel ITV and has faced increasing competition from the publicly funded BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing", which regularly eclipsed it in the viewer ratings last year.

British media attributed the decline in viewers to the fact that the show's creator and star judge Simon Cowell, a television personality known for his acerbic on-screen style, left the show to launch the U.S. version.

"The X Factor" USA failed to meet Cowell's expectations, prompting the firing in January of Scherzinger, judge Paula Abdul and host Steve Jones.

In Britain, Scherzinger is well known as the girlfriend of Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Jill Serjeant)

Nicole Scherzinger, girlfriend of McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, walks in the paddock after the qualifying session of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Samsul Said