ncole1 Last night’s debut of The X Factor had viewers deciding which judge they preferred: Cheryl Cole, the British singer who producer Simon Cowell parted ways with early into the X Factor process, or pop star Nicole Scherzinger.

The New York Times journalist Neil Genzlinger described Cowell’s decision to replace Cole with Scherzinger as a “downgrade,” adding that in her previous two seasons as a judge on The Sing-OffScherzinger was “not much more than a seat warmer.” Chicago Tribune writer Steve Johnson describes the Pussycat Dolls vet as “more earnest than Kara DioGuardi than lovable like Jennifer Lopez.”

Although Cole’s first (and I’m assuming only) hour on The X Factor was a standout, I’m actually pulling for Scherzinger.  What’s done is done, the powers that be have made their decision, and with all the great buzz Cole has received for the show, one would assume a high profile gig is in the offing.

Nicole Scherzinger said in an interview during the TCAs that The X Factor is helping her break out of her shell.  Click on the media bar to hear Nicole talk about what’s she’s learned from her experiences on The X Factor:

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Did Simon Cowell make the wrong decision regarding Cole?  Will Scherzinger flourish as a judge?  Should Simon Fuller consider Cole as a possible judge for American Idol?  And most of all, has The X Factor lived up to all the hype?  Tell us what you think!

The X Factor airs tonight (Fox, 8 pm et/pt).

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