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There'll be tears if Cheryl can't reverse the fortunes of X Factor

WITH their cute little dimples and ability to summon up a few adorable tears at a moment's notice, Simon Cowell's new baby Eric, and singer, Cheryl Cole, could be seen to be competing to be the apple of the entertainment mogul's eye.

And if Eric wants to continue living in the luxury that he has become used to over the past week, he should let the little Geordie pet win, for the moment anyway.

After all, if dear old dad manages to convince her to return to his cash cow, The X Factor, it just might save the ailing show from the boredom that has plagued it in recent years.

Reports this week suggest that Cheryl has been offered €2.4m to replace former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger as a judge on the British version of the show this year.

Because she's worth it, of course.


But is the money enough to make the doe-eyed wonder forget the humiliation of being ignominiously dropped from the American series in 2011?

While she was the undisputed British sweetheart at that time, and Simon lured her stateside in the first place, Chezza was quickly shelved in favour of go-to girl Scherzinger, and her American dream came to a heartbreaking end.

US executives felt the American public wouldn't be able to understand her heavy Geordie accent, and she subsequently took them to court for loss of earnings.

The US X Factor isn't returning this year, so Simon Cowell will be reprising his role as resident baddie on the UK show, which is good news for those of us who found Gary 'Borelow' nice but dull. With Louis Walsh as the only permanent fixture in recent times, viewers have been turning off in their droves, partly because the female replacements were utterly dire.

Whereas we used to tune in to see who looked best between Cheryl and Dannii Minogue, we hated Tulisa's chaviness, and said "no, baby, no" to Nicole's "schamazing" and "sasstastic" witterings.

I'm not the only one now bored with the whole tired formula. Viewers are sick of the tragic back stories of bullying and deprivation.

They're tired of being expected to sob over someone wanting to win for their ailing granny, and teed off with the 'bands' the show creates every year out of rejected solo singers.

Although we'll admit that One Direction have done kinda well for themselves.

After investing so much energy into the drama of the show, it's also a bit galling to note that most of the actual winners slide into oblivion and rarely go on to do anything of note in showbiz.

With the trauma we experienced when the flash and glitter of the good times came crashing down around our ears, we seem to be returning to the old way of doing things, where slow and steady wins the race. The people capturing our ears these days, like Ed Sheeran, Emili Sande, Kodaline and Ellie Goulding, haven't come through a TV production.

They've shown that hard graft and paying your dues is currently trumping instant, fleeting fame on reality shows.

So if it comes to pass, can the dream team of Cheryl and Simon win us over again this year? I'm not so sure. With Kate Middleton replacing her as a real-life, classy princess, Cheryl is now considered a bit tacky and brassy.

She hasn't done too much of note lately, apart from being in a car crash with will.i.am and doing the odd gig with Girls Aloud. This has left her with plenty of spare time to devote 55 hours to having a giant rose tattooed on her pert bum.

We'll all be waiting to see if she and Cowell can rekindle the magic, but something tells me that baby Eric won't be the only one in need of having his tears dried this Christmas.