By SARA NATHAN
At your service: Nicole Scherzinger poses with excitable fans as she arrives at the second day of auditions in New Jersey for the U.S. X Factor today
She is still in hiding after her dreams of cracking America on the X Factor USA were shattered.
And yesterday, Cheryl Cole actually became the invisible woman as Simon Cowell introduced her replacement on the TV talent show – singer Nicole Scherzinger.
To ear-splitting applause from the crowd, the X Factor judges walked out to greet the audience at the auditions in New Jersey.
'Invisible woman': Nicole showed off her longs legs in a metallic grey dress with a studded belt, seen right the woman she replaced, Cheryl Cole on her first day of auditions in Los Angeles last month
Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger beamed as they made their introductions.
And it was a case of ‘Cheryl, who’s Cheryl?’ as Miss Scherzinger, 32, was introduced to the crowd by Cowell as ‘our own answer to Cruella de Vil.’
It was as if Mrs Cole had never even been on set as the slender brunette then triumphantly punched the air, making it clear that she deserved the job, screaming: ‘What’s up New Jersey? How are you? Y’all feeling good today?’
It's Saula: Simon Cowell has given Nicole high praise, saying she is like a breath of fresh air, but it was Paula Abdul who he was lauding with attention as the pair shared a smooch as they arrived today
Pretty in pink: Paula stood out in a bright short dress, teamed with Christian Louboutin heels
Clad in a figure-hugging green jumpsuit and gold stilettos, the singer added: ‘I don’t know if you all know this, but today is my first day on the job for the X Factor – I’m here for you. I’m at your service, New Jersey.’
‘So please, please, lets have some fun and let’s show X Factor some love!’
The former Pussycat Doll singer was promoted from show co-host to a judge after Mrs Cole, 27, was removed from the panel after filming four auditions.
Unbreakable bond: Simon and Paula were very touchy-feely as they greeted the waiting media and fans outside the arena
Say cheese: Former Pussycat Doll Nicole poses with fellow judge L.A. Reid, who looked dapper in a suit with brown suede shoes
And speaking after the first round of auditions at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, music mogul Cowell told the Daily Mail: ‘Didn’t’ Nicole do well? She was terrific.
‘She’s a great addition to the panel, she’ll be great. She’s just what we needed – she’s a breath of fresh air.’
The entire judging panel looked terribly cosy as Miss Abdul, 48 cuddled, up to Cowell , 51,and Miss Scherzinger bantered with record executive Reid.
Lively: Nicole was loving all the attention she was getting as she posed for photos and spoke to the Press
And when asked if they knew who Mrs Cole was, audience members professed ignorance and one said: ‘We don’t know her in America.’
An onlooker said: ‘It was as if Cheryl had never been there at all, everyone looked happy and relaxed. It was like she had been rubbed out of the show.’
Mrs Cole is yet to make a public appearance after flying home to England from the auditions in Chicago two weeks ago.
The star was removed from the U.S. judging panel after being told by TV executives that she had lost her ‘sparkle.’
Meet my new BFF: Nicole posted a picture with fellow U.S. X Factor judge Paula on her Twitter page
The move then sparked a 10-day standoff beween her and Cowell that ended in her snubbing a £2.5 million offer to return to the U.K. X Factor – and finally an 11th hour offer to try again as a judge on the U.S. show.
She turned down the offer to return to America on Monday, leaving Miss Scherzinger - who was a guest judge at the U.K. X Factor auditions last year - to fill her high heels.
A show source said: ‘Nicole is feisty, she’s loud, she gets the crowd going – and she’s ambitious.
‘In short, she’s exactly what the X Factor needs. She was great on the first day and managed to spar with Cowell and the rest of the judges.’
Speaking earlier this week, Cowell told the Mail that it had been a ‘rough few weeks.’
Having a blast: Crowds assemble outside the Prudential Center in New Jersey
What a line-up: These are the first auditions to be filmed with Scherzinger as a judge
Coming soon: X Factor starts airing from September in the U.S. on the Fox network
Hot competition: A neon-clad Paula Abdul took on former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger in a battle of puffball frocks as the X Factor auditions kicked off in New Jersey yesterday