The X Factor

*When word came that Nicole Scherzinger pulled out of the London production of “Cats,” many wondered why she would sign on to only drop out, considering her career is hardly making waves. As we previously reported, she was slated to also headline the NYC production as well, but according to Page Six, the ex-Pussycat Doll star bailed a week before rehearsals allegedly because composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber wouldn’t put her name above the title and on the marquee — like it was in London.

Lloyd Webber told the Economist Radio, “I mean, she’s crazy. But the American producers just took a view — ‘well, fine, we’ll get somebody else,’ because she’s actually not very well-known in America. He continued, “I’m furious because I really believe she’s the most fantastically talented girl, and I went out on a limb to get her for the London Palladium here, and it makes me look like an absolute [bleep] with them all.” He added, “But never mind, there’ll be another girl on Broadway, and Nicole will not get her Tony Award.”

READ RELATED STORY: Nicole Scherzinger Leaves Broadway’s Cats Because She Didn’t Get Top Billing?; Replaced by Leona Lewis

British singer Leona Lewis replaced Scherzinger in the play. However, could a bigger paycheck also have been a reason for Nicole to walk away? It’s being reported that she is set to earn $2.5 million to judge the new season of “The X Factor,” making her the show’s highest paid judge behind Simon Cowell.

The problem with this new deal is that Sharon Osbourne reportedly stipulated that SHE be the second highest paid judge — but Nicole’s walking away with almost $150,000 more, U.K. Mirror notes.

Sources say Sharon won’t be happy by this news, as she was assured that she would be the highest-paid panelist after boss Simon Cowell. The huge pay deal was allegedly needed to tempt Nicole away from her role in “Cats.”

One source said: “During negotiations, Sharon stipulated that she had to be the highest paid judge. But what she doesn’t know is that Nicole is set to pocket an extra £125,000.“This will surely anger Sharon, who feels she’s worth more than Nicole. She’s more experienced after sitting on the panel for five series, compared to Nicole’s two.”