Rumors of a reported switch-up between X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger and Kelly Rowland of the show's UK counterpart ran rampant in the past few days, and at last night's elimination round, both Simon Cowell and Nicole herself took the opportunity to set the record straight.
"No, it's not true," said Simon when asked if there was any merit to the recent gossip. He did however, in classic Cowell fashion, throw a bit of a jab at Nicole after the fact, insinuating he indeed prefers the former Destiny's Child member as a judge for his American panel.
"Now that you mention it," he added, "I think Kelly may be in poor ol' Nicole's position would have been a better choice. But you know what, they're stuck to what they're paid to do, but I'm just not very happy."
If Nicole was privy to the unrest, she certainly didn't show it. "There's rumors every week on X Factor," said Scherzinger, brushing off the gossip. "That's just another rumor."
As for last night's double elimination, two of the youngest acts of the contest were sent packing. While both Astro and Drew acknowledged they have bright futures ahead, Drew was rewarded with an almost immediate reward for all her hard work; a note of encouragement from pop superstar Justin Bieber. Following the elimination, Justin posted the following message to Drew's twitter account: "keep your head up. I lost my first competition too. this is just the beginning for u. never say never. best wishes."
Tune into The X Factor to see the remaining five contestants battle it out for the $5 million dollar recording contract Wednesday night on Fox.