Nicole Scherzinger to join X Factor panel permanently

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Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger will permanently replace Kelly Rowland on 'The X Factor', and is set to sign her contract in the next few days.

Nicole Scherzinger will permanently replace Kelly Rowland on 'The X Factor'.

The US singer is set to take the place of the former Destiny's Child star on the judging panel, after she impressed bosses as a stand-in member during recent auditions for the show.

A source told the Daily Mail newspaper her role will be confirmed in the next few days, adding: "We love her and the judges love her. She seems very comfortable on set and at the auditions.

"No-one really comes close to Nicole. We're discussing contracts now."

Nicole, 33, has stood in as a guest judge on previous series' of the UK show, and was one of the original members of the panel when the show launched in the US last year. However, both she and Paula Abdul were dropped after they didn't connect with audiences.

The source added: "Nicole has always seemed more relaxed on the UK series."

Other guest judges during recent audition shows have included Spice Girls stars Geri Halliwell and Mel B and singers Rita Ora, Anastacia and Leona Lewis.

The source added: "The only other person who is possibly in the frame is Mel."

However, Mel is thought to be keen to start a new life in Australia with her family, and both she and Geri were booed during auditions.

Nicole - who is dating British racing driver Lewis Hamilton - could be set to earn more than £500,000 for the series, which will see her appear alongside Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh when the show returns in August.

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