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Simon Cowell says he did Cheryl Cole a favor by taking her off 'The X Factor'

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Simon Cowell has finally spoken out on the disaster that is judge Cheryl Cole's disappearance from the U.S. version of The X Factor, saying he was working in her best interest and that he "genuinely" thought she'd be happier back in England. Strange, that's not how it seemed at all.

"She was good on the American show," Cowell told London's Daily Mirror. "I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just looked a little bit, I wouldn't say uncomfortable, but just not as happy as I've seen her on previous shows."

Cole made it through four episodes' worth of auditions before Simon decided to swap her out for then-co-host Nicole Scherzinger, which is as baffling as any plan any TV show has ever had. But it wasn't because of Cheryl's performance, oh no.

"I hate seeing her hurt. She's one of — I hope — she's one of my closest friends, and this was a decision we made which we thought would be beneficial to her, funny enough," Cowell said. "Not many people will believe that, but that's the truth."

Cowell noted that contrary to reports, she can still return to the U.K. show if she really wanted to, and it's her job to turn down. Cheryl hasn't really spoken to Simon since, for obvious reasons, but he said he got a text from here, so there's a chance they'll work together again.

"She told me she wasn't happy but that she also accepted it was a business decision and she wished the show well. Typically, in Cheryl form, she was disappointed but charming at the same time," said Cowell. "I always, always would hold the door open to work with her again." Just not in the States.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 2:42pm]

    

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