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Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 10:42 UK
'I chased Cheryl for two years'
Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole was reduced to tears during The X Factor auditions

The X Factor judge Simon Cowell has admitted he chased Cheryl Cole for two years before she joined the show.

He claims that he drafted the Girls Aloud singer in because she is a rare talent with a grounded personality.

Cowell said: "I thought she was special and I thought she'd be fantastic on a show like this. But it took me two years to persuade her."

Cheryl replaced former judge Sharon Osbourne after quit the show earlier in the summer.

Cowell added: "Cheryl blew me out on Britain's Got Talent after saying yes and then eventually I persuaded her to do The X Factor.


"I knew she was going to be good because she speaks like normal people speak.

"People can relate to that and I think that's the best sign of a judge not someone sitting there as a vocal coach but saying why I like you why I don't like you and it's a very, very rare talent.

"She is one the best I've ever worked with."

'Massive achievement'

Cheryl also said that she felt very honoured to take over from Sharon following her four series on the show.

She said: "Just to be asked to go on the show in Sharon's seat is a massive achievement and a massive compliment for me so I take that as a good thing."

Despite a warm welcome into the show, the Girls Aloud singer also revealed that she was reduced to tears when she faced former rival Nikki Major from her auditioning days on Popstars.

We didn't get on. We weren't the best of buddies
Dannii Minogue on her rivalry with Sharon Osbourne
"That was a really awkward moment for me," she explained. "Nik's been around since I auditioned. So he's tried his hardest and he's been around for years.

"Working in a working men's club or working in a bingo club has got to be the hardest especially when that's your passion.

"And I can relate to his passion for this so to be sat there judging him just felt wrong. I couldn't possibly do that and I'm glad I didn't."

Joining forces

Cowell also said there was no bad blood between Sharon since she left the show in June.

He added: "Sharon does a show for me called America's Got Talent in the US so I speak to her all the time.

"For a number of reasons she just decided to go. So you have to move on. Now I can't imagine doing the show without Cheryl. So it happens like that. You adjust very quickly. The show is different now because Cheryl is on it."

Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue
Dannii Minogue said she wants Cheryl to have a great time
But fellow judge Dannii Minogue said she was glad to see the back of Ozzy Osbourne's wife and is delighted to be joining forces with Cheryl.

Danni said: "We didn't get on. We weren't the best of buddies. If Sharon doesn't want to come back and do the show, I think it's better that she is somewhere doing something she loves and she seems to be loving America's Got Talent.

"I want Cheryl to come in and have a great time, feel welcome, enjoy the show, she loves music. I just want it to be a nice experience for her."

Series Five of The X Factor returns to TV screens on ITV1 on August 16 at 7.30pm.

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