10 September 2012 by

Cheryl Cole Returns To The X Factor As A Favour To Friend Gary Barlow NOT Simon Cowell

Who'd have thunk it?! Family man and all round Mr Nice Guy Gary Barlow has masterminded a plot even 007 would be proud of! After cosying up to Cheryl Cole with a cuppa following their performance together at the Diamond Jubilee concert he organised at Buckingham Palace in June, it seems that Gazza had one more favour to ask of the Geordie lass. When it came to choosing a mentor to work alongside him at the Judges' Houses stage of The X Factor, Gary certainly took note of Cheryl's recent chart success and enlisted the 'Call My Name' singer to help select which of the Over 25's category he would be putting through to the live shows.

However, the plot thickens as it's been reported that Gary did all this behind the back of his boss Simon Cowell - risky, we know - who is still in Chezza's bad books after he axed her from the US version of The X Factor last year. According to The Sun newspaper, an X Factor source said: 'Only Gary’s intimate inner circle know. He hasn’t even discussed it with Simon or ITV bosses. It’s been seriously top secret stuff. They’re all under the impression it’s going to be Robbie. No one even noticed the dates for the recording clashed with Robbie’s new solo tour.'

The judges houses portion of the show took place this weekend with Gary and Cheryl heading to stately home Boughton House in Northamptonshire. So pleased was Mr Barlow with the former winning judge's performance that Gary tweeted, 'Thank you @CherylCole for all your help this weekend. The contestants and I loved having you there xx'

Now if we were Mr Cowell, we'd be seething slightly at all this cloak and dagger action but he chose to rise about it when he tweeted, 'Welcome back Cheryl. X' However, having dubbed Simon as her 'frenemy', Cheryl said: 'I saw Simon’s tweet. I’m not doing this for him. I am doing this for Gary as he’s my friend and he asked me to do it.' Ooh-er missus!

Whatevs - it wouldn't be The X Factor without a little cat-fighting among the judges and we're certainly super excited to see Cheryl back on our screens. So much so that we thought we'd relive some of our favourite Chezza moments...


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