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Simon Cowell confirms Nicole Scherzinger is in running for X Factor'

Music mogul SIMON COWELL is still refusing to name names for his new X FACTOR judging panel, but he has confessed he's talking to both NICOLE SCHERZINGER and CHERYL COLE.

On Monday (07Feb11), Cowell confirmed he would be one of the three judges when the hit British talent show takes over U.S. TV later this year (11), but he's coy about who'll join him.

However, he did let some trade secrets slip in a new TV interview with ex-girlfriend Terri Seymour.

He told the reporter for news show Extra he and his production team are "talking to" Scherzinger and Cole and admits his former American Idol judging pal Paula Abdul is "in the mix" with the other potentials.

But Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger appears to be a favourite. Simon Cowell says, "She is gorgeous and she does know what she's talking about."

He also dismissed reports George Michael might be on the panel and Simon Cowell has also ruled out Christina Aguilera after her national anthem mess at the Super Bowl on Sunday (06Feb11).

He jokes, "Pre Super Bowl, yes; post no."

Simon Cowell also confessed he "likes" Usher and Ricky Martin - and Black Eyed Peas star Fergie: "I love Fergie... She's one of the most underrated singers in this country."