Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Photo: Simon Cowell Pinches Paula Abdul's Nose at The X Factor USA Premiere in Hollywood on September 14, 2011

As we previously reported, The X Factor host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger have been cultivating quite the flirt-lationship on set, even having gotten to the point of inventing cutesy nicknames for each other, but apparently, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul have a monopoly on show-mance flirting.

Simon is doing his best to (rhymes with smock)-block the couple on camera. According to show insiders, the boss-man has grown "unhappy" with what's developing between host and judge.

"At first Simon and the producers turned a blind eye to Steve and Nicole’s growing closeness," the source revealed to Star. "But it’s reached the stage now where they’re starting to alienate everyone else working on the show, and it’s forming an uncomfortable energy, which Simon doesn’t like."

Uh oh. BUSTED. Now, mind you, this is probably all innocent, considering Nicole is engaged and Steve is a known philanderer ladies-man who definitely doesn't need help scoring chicks. SiCo is on a Donald Trump-esque "YOU'RE FIRED" kick post-Cheryl Cole's untimely termination, though, so let's hope these two stay on their best behavior for the rest of filming.

Source: STV

Credit: PacificCoastNews.com Photo: Simon Cowell Stands Shirtless on a Yacht in St. Tropez, France on August 3, 2011

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