A source told heat that Simon sees Nicole as the head judge and even calls her up to tell her how fab she is.
The source says: "He's been bombarding her with late night calls and texts, and gets in contact with her after each show for a low down"
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"Sometimes it's as late as 3am in London"
At which point we would politely say, 'Simon, do pee off, we have beauty sleep to catch up on'.
However, Nicole is happy to chat and listen to Simon gush about what a great judge she is.
The source says: "When Simon sees recordings of each live show he gets in contact with Nicole to tell her that she came out on top. He definitely sees her as a head judge."
News we fear will further rile the *actual* head judge Gary Barlow, with whom things are already rumoured to be sour.
However for us, Simon is right (as ever), Nicole Is fast becoming the star of this year's show and has totally surprised us — she is absolutely hilaire!
Who knew she had it in her?
And we do know how much Simon likes a leggy brunette…