Kelly Rowland Heading To UK, Joining Gary Barlow As New ‘X Factor’ Judge

May 31st, 2011 // Comment

For whatever reason, British pop star Cheryl Cole was axed from the upcoming American version of Simon Cowell’s TV singing competition The X Factor. Both Cole and Cowell had been judges on the original UK edition, along with Dannii Minogue and Westlife manager Louis Walsh. But it looks like Cheryl won’t be taking back her original position on the show overseas, as Kelly Rowland, Take That frontman Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos of N-Dubz have been announced as the replacement judges on the British series.

“Motivation” songstress Rowland is no stranger to music fans overseas — over the past decade she’s racked up seven post-Destiny’s Child Top 10 singles in the UK, including her 2009 collaboration with David Guetta “When Love Takes Over,” which went to #1 in the country.

”The music coming out of the UK right now is incredible, with artists like Adele, Jessie J and James Blake, so I’m confident this season of The X Factor will give me opportunity to hear a few diamonds in the rough,” Rowland said in a statement. ”Being a judge is never easy but I promise to be as sternly honest as I can and also encourage everyone who crosses the stage. I can’t wait to meet the world’s next superstar.”

Meanwhile, Black Eyed Pea will.i.am is still banking on Cheryl Cole becoming a star in the States, despite being given a pink slip by X Factor producers.

“She always comes back stronger, and she always comes back bigger,” he told Heat magazine, as quoted by Digital Spy. “Cheryl has been through rougher things than this, so this is going to be no problem for her. The X Factor is not the only way for Cheryl to break the US, it’s not like it’s the only show on television. And remember that Cheryl is a recording artist first. Over the next few months she’s potentially going to be working with artists like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Usher, and of course the Peas.”

Do you think doing The X Factor in the UK is a good career move for Kelly Rowland, who’s upcoming third solo album Here I Am is due out this fall? Or should she be concentrating on finally breaking through in the US as a solo artist now that “Motivation” is a Top 40 hit here?

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