It’s the reality TV phenomenon that made her a star, the most talked about woman in the British press, and the girl whose eyelashes we all coveted.
It’s also the show that broke her Geordie heart when she was dropped unexpectedly from its stateside judging line-up and replaced abruptly by leggy Nicole Scherzinger.
The programme is getting on very well without her - more than 50 per cent of Saturday evening's audience share tuned in to watch the show's offering of ‘untapped talent’ and ‘cover-your-ears-that-sounds-like-a-drowning-cat’ warblers.
Tulisa Contostavlos, Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland are doing a fine job of putting those without the X Factor in their place and crying tears of joy (and pound signs) all over the nervous contestants that do have it.
According to Heat magazine, Cole could replace one of the new judges that we’ve reluctantly taken into our Saturday night viewing schedule, if she does make a comeback.
An ‘insider’ told the magazine: "It's an extremely closely guarded secret. Some people who work on the show don't even know about this yet, but Cheryl is in talks to come back as a guest judge on the live shows.
"And while nothing's signed or set in stone, everyone involved knows it's going to be the most explosive thing The X Factor's ever seen."
Really? The most explosive thing The X Factor’s ever seen? More explosive than the time Christina Aguilera cavorted with an army of lingerie-clad dancers? Or the time Rihanna thrust her way through her solo performance in pants and a strapless bra?
More explosive even than when tuneless contestant George Gerasimou took to the X Factor stage to call Tulisa a “scumbag” and a “dog”?
Perhaps they’re going to get Cole to battle show boss Simon Cowell for her judging seat, challenging him to a horseback javelin fight? It's far more likely she’ll totter on to the stage in a pair of six-inch heels and sing an auto-tuned version of her latest ‘hit’.
What’s guaranteed is there will be plenty more of these Cole stories pushed our way before the X Factor ends in time for Christmas.
Would Cole be mad to re-join the show? Or is it the best career move she could make? Let us know your views.