You may remember a few weeks back we reported that Mariah Carey was being drafted into The X Factor to replace Nicole Scherzinger on the judging panel.
It came at a time when it was believed that Nicole was telling producers she would not be able to commit to the new series because she was also filming the big screen version of Wicked.
It was also rumoured that she was stalling signing her contract to negotiate a better deal.
Then it was confirmed that Nicole would indeed be coming back to the show, joining Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne on the panel.
Now, in a shock twist, it has been revealed that the one-time Pussycat Doll has dropped out auditions and is being replaced by Alesha Dixon.
But don’t worry, Nicole hasn’t quit the show.
It turns out she has a previously arranged commitment that clashes with today’s first day of Manchester auditions and Alesha is being roped in as a guest judge.
“Everyone is gutted that Nicole won’t be joining them, but Alesha has a wealth of experience from her role on BGT and her own pop career so will do a great job filling in,” a source has told The Sun.
Meanwhile an X Factor spokesperson confirmed producers’ last-minute decision.
“Alesha is guest-judging for the first day of the Manchester auditions as Nicole is unable to film that day due to a previous diary commitment.”
Nicole, who has been part of the series on-and-off since 2007, kicked off this year’s audition process last week at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.
It is unclear as yet if Nicole will miss any other auditions or indeed any of the live shows in the autumn.