Los Angeles - Psycho (sic) TV bosses learned about the nepotism when secret swabs matched the two's DNA.
But it was Paula Abdul's dubbing of Cheryl as 'a freakshow poison dwarf' that finally did for the 5ft 2ins non-entity.
This morning nationwide US broadcaster Fux News tipped her the wink that her Exit Factor return ticket home was ready and waiting.
"Cheryl's in shock and talking to her lawyers," the show's PR said today.
"There might be something in the contract to compensate for the massive let-down - but it won't be a seven figure severance check or a lifetime season ticket to Disneyland."
Cole is likely to have become a victim of her own mythology, egged on by the daft-as-a-brush UK popular press.
"Cheryl should have got her tits out in public like Latoya Jackson," an industry insider hinted helpfully.
"Wanna see a pic of her latest tattoo?"