Well, this seems like insult compounded atop injury, in the non-injurious sense:

British pop star Cheryl Cole and the producers of the U.S. version of "The X Factor" appear to be in a standoff after her abrupt but unofficial dismissal from the show. Though Cole was dropped as a judge after only four days for reasons that remain unclear, a source close to Cole says Fremantle apparently is trying to avoid breaching her contract.

"They don't want to pay her," this insider alleges. "It's a chess match."

According to this source, Fremantle has not fired Cole and in fact took steps Thursday that will require her to appear shortly at the U.S. consulate in London to apply for a visa so she can perform as a judge. Fremantle executives could not be reached for comment.

Remember, she was supposedly dropped because of her thick accent - which might have made for some entertaining TV, really. All those singing shows clogging the airwaves, you need a hook, a gimmick, and weekly contests to award watchers who could accurately decode what she said might be just the thing. Sources also say that Cowell is behind all of this. Gosh. You think?

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