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    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 at 08:54

Smug Factor: Simon Cowell takes all the credit for Stacy Francis's 'shining' performance (and sticks the knife into her mentor Nicole Scherzinger)

  • Fox renews X Factor USA for a second season

By Mike Larkin

Last updated at 6:55 AM on 3rd November 2011

She thought she had landed a plum job after replacing Cheryl Cole as an X Factor USA judge earlier this year.

But former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger was left licking her wounds on last night's show after being humiliated live on air by Simon Cowell.

The music mogul taunted her about the fact he had to steer Nicole's act Stacy Francis in the right direction by getting her to sing a gospel song - after criticising the Scherzinger's choice of material last week.


Fancy a kiss: Simon Cowell gave Stacy Frances a peck after claiming credit for turning her fortunes around while also humiliating her mentor Nicole Scherzinger on last night X Factor USA


Peeved: Nicole was seemed less than impressed after Simon gave her a dressing down live on air

After her version of Up The Mountain was heaped with praise by Paula Abdul and LA Reid, Simon was not slow at coming forward.

The grinning judge said: 'I don't want to take any credit for this but I'm going to.

'I think you want to give me a kiss don't you.'


After hugging the 42-year-old single mother and kissing her, he sat back in his chair and started gloating even more.

He said: 'That is why I love judging on this show. I can help the mentors and I can help the contestants.

'This is what you should have been doing right from the start. It was real.'


Simon says: The superstar judge was delighted to highlight the fact people should follow his words of wisdom


Drama: The judging panel, from left, LA Reid, Nicole, Paula Abdul and Simon

Crestfallen Nicole tried to deflect the attention away from her failure, but she did admit she had been wrong.

The red-faced star conceded: 'I took your advice Simon. I'm not going to make it about you, I'm going to make it about Stacy.

'I think you were being honest with your performance tonight.

'This was the perfect song for you and you fulfilled your purpose.'

And to top it all off Paula told Stacy: 'You were the shining moment of tonight.'


Colourful: Lakoda Rayne stood out in an array of shades - but Cowell criticised their mentor Paula over their 'prom dress' outfits


Hogz in the limelight: The RnB group were lavished with praise and seem set to go further in the competition

It was a moment of triumph for Simon, who explained: 'Some of the best singers in the world are what I call church singers, like Aretha Franklin, that's what I mean, what's wrong with that?

'But Stacy got it so wrong last week. So I'm going to take responsibility for what she's singing tonight.

'If she gets it wrong tonight I'll take full responsibility - but this is more me than Nicole with Stacy this week, it's been me guiding her.'

The Stacy spat was the highlight of a night of verbal grenades from the show's star act, who gleefully announced on air his show had been renewed for another season despite getting nowhere near the 20 million viewers he had hoped for.

There are just twelve acts left, with this week being the first subject to the public vote.


Jealous: Simon stroked Paula's ego by saying he was envious of her group Stereo Hogz


Hellish: Simon was not a fan of the flames during Chris Rene's performance

First up was the Stereo Hogz, with the RnB group giving a rendition of Janet Jackson song Rhythm Nation.

Simon said: 'I was in such a good mood until this because Miss Smug on my right is so happy.

'You know I've got to say something guys, not only do I think you are the best group I've seen on one of these competitions.

'I work for a record label and I don't think there is a band in the world as good as you.

'I wish I was mentoring you. This is so annoying.'

LA Reid agreed, saying: 'The whole idea here is do you have what it takes to be a star, and you know what, you just showed you absolutely have what it takes to be a star.'


Dated: Simon gave Nicole another verbal spanking after labelling her song and presentation choice for LeRoy Bell 'dated'


Crow road: 13-year-old Rachel will be hoping the cuteness card will allow her to go deeper into the contest

Chris Rene sang Carpenters hit Superstar, and was praised for picking the right song for him.

Nicole said: 'You sound absolutely amazing. You've grown so much already in this competition. Vocally you sounded beautiful.'

Simon said: 'Last week you knew you weren't on your game. When the song started for 10 seconds I thought this was going to be a disaster.

'I thought it was a big improvement on what you did last week and I love your honesty.'

But he had a pop at the flames that covered the stage at the end of the song.

His mentor LA Reid defended the styling choice, saying: 'You know that fire was because he is hot.'


Singing his heart out: Josh Krajcik in the Overs category took the stage for another rousing performance, clad in a full black ensemble

Michael Bolton clone LeRoy Bell, who does not look anywhere near his 60 years of age,was criticsed for his song choice by LA Reid and Simon Cowell after sing country ballad.

Simon accusing Nicole Scherzinger of picking the wrong song for her pupil, saying: 'I don't think Nicole quite understood to give you the right kind of song.

'I thought it looked very dated having a piano player up there with you.'

But she shot back: 'You know what, Simon? Sometimes, less is more.

The ding-dong continued when Simon Cowell's contestant 13-year-old Rachel Crow sang Walking On Sunshine, but with new lyrics.

Nicole questioned why they had been changed, and claimed it had wasted the song.

But acid-tongued Simon said: 'Referring to the lyric change, Nicole, it's called being inventive darling.'


One to beat? Simon is sure he has a winner on his hands after bring back leather-lunged Melanie Amaro

And when she tried to challenged him again he spoke over her, saying: 'Nicole, grown-ups are talking.

'This girl is going to be around for a long time.'

LA Reid seemed to agree, as he added: 'You must be one of the most charasmatic people I have ever met. It is tough to cricise your performance because you are so loveable.

'You have really got something special, whatever you want to do, you can do it.'

Melanie Amaro, sang the Eagles' classic hit Desperado, and despite only being in the show after Simon changed his mind on axing her, she is suddenly the favourite.

LA Reid said: 'The only thing Simon ever did right was bringing you back.

'Great song choice, but for me Simon bringing you back was more powerful for me.'

Paula added: 'You look beautiful and I have to say your voice is like fine china.'


Its a rap: Pint-sized hip hop wannabe Astro was popular with the crowd and the judges


Fair's fair: LA Reid admitted he had been wrong about his own act after being jabbed by Simon

Smug Simon said: 'I didn't realise how good you are, you are seriously, seriously good.

'Right now, you are the one to beat, trust me.'

Pint-sized rapper Astro, who looks less than his 15-years, took on Naughty by Nature's Hip-Hop Hooray, and added some of his own lyrics thrown in for effect.

Simon took LA to task, as he was now singing his act's praises while before had said noone would buy his records.

Simon said: 'I remember a few weeks ago LA Reid saying people your age can't rap and sell records.


Gleeful: Intensity won the approval of Simon with their Glee-esque act

'I think LA it is time to take that back. I think you are a real little star.

'Your ego is getting bigger, I know LA is channelling is ego through you, but that is what it needs.'

And the hip-hop mogol agreed, saying, 'that's fair.'

Once again, if you like to download Glee's versions of your favourite songs, there's nothing not to like about the hodgepodge of 12- to 17-year-olds who make up Intensity.

Simon admitted he had been wrong to doubt them and Paula, saying: 'I'm going to say S O R R Y to Paula because that was terrific.


Are Drew kidding? Simon claimed he was learning from his 14-year-old act and that she should be his mentor

'I like the fact there is a bit of a rebellion going on here and you insisted on changing your music to suit all of you.'

Paula reposted: 'You put him in his place, thank you so much for working so hard.'

Another contestant who fared well was 14-year-old Drew, who LA lavished with praise before adding, 'You're unlucky, you have the wrong mentor, otherwise, you're amazing.

However old campaigner Simon knew the best move was to use his reputation to shine even more light on his act, replying: 'LA, I'm not her mentor, she is my mentor.

'I'm learning from you and you are doing an incredible job.


He's arrived: Marcus Canty burst on to the stage and impressed the judges with his Bobby Brown mash-up

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2056952/X-Factor-USA-Simon-Cowell-takes-credit-Stacy-Franciss-shining-performance-sticks-knife-mentor-Nicole-Scherzinger.html#ixzz1cdBB3XZd
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