What’s Next for Cheryl Cole

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Frank Micelotta/FOX

Now that the British beauty is officially off the 'X Factor' in America, THR investigates her career options moving forward.

Cheryl Cole has weathered more than her share of drama in the last year and her ouster from the U.S. edition of X Factor is hardly the least of it. There was Cole’s divorce from English football star Ashley Cole in September of 2010, not three months after she battled malaria, which she had contracted on a trip to Tanzania with UK X Factor.

The title to her second solo album, Messy Little Raindrops, released in November of 2010, pretty much said it all, but in the last few weeks, the barrage of bad news was more like a downpour as Cole was effectively let go from the show. (To date, there has been no official explanation for what led to her dismissal, and according to one source, her camp remains "miffed" regarding the matter.) So what's next for Cole? THR breaks down her options.
1.)  Releasing a solo album in the U.S.: Ask anyone who knows Cole well what really makes her tick and the answer inevitablebly comes down to one thing: music. “It’s what she loves,” says a source close to Cole. “Americans don’t realize how much she has done as a singer.” Indeed, Cole’s 2009 solo debut, 3 Words, was certified three times platinum in the UK. As for her U.S. deal, she has one through Universal Polydor and is signed directly to will.i.am's imprint via Interscope. The Black Eyed Peas frontman also co-manages Cole in addition to producing much of her music.

2.)  A new judging gig: Rumors from across the pond point to a possible stint on the UK version of The Voice, since it seems that UK X Factor, which already has four judges in place (the latest addition: Kelly Rowland), is off the table. Cole’s reps will not confirm that an offer has been made and will only say that she’s “exploring many options.”

3.)  Girls Aloud reunion? If the Spice Girls could do it, what’s stopping their successors? The group officially went on hiatus in 2009, but recently Nicola Roberts, one of five Girls Aloud members, told the BBC that she and her mates are "up for a reunion” for Girls’ 10th anniversary, which happens to be in 2012.

4.) Acting. Although Cole has yet to act in any serious feature films, she now has a high enough profile in Hollywood to be considered for projects of note. The singer has a portfolio of skills not known to some, such as classical dancing abilities (Cole beat more than 9,000 hopefuls to win a place at the Royal Ballet Summer School in London when she was just a teenager, according to the Daily Mail). England's Daily Star reported late last year that Cole wanted "to start acting lessons as soon as she arrives, in a bid to help her crack America."