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Nicole Scherzinger On Simon Cowell and This Year's Show

The gorgeous Nicole has a chat about coming back for this year's show and what it is like working with Simon, Sharon and Louis again.

How does it feel to be back on The X Factor panel?

It feels like home sweet home, I’ve missed the UK and obviously me, Sharon and Louis were together on our last season. I haven’t been on a show with Simon in a few years and he’s really awesome, he’s not as scary as I remember! It’s a great feeling on the panel, a really natural, family, homey vibe, nothing is forced and there’s a lot of positive, fun energy.

How did Simon convince you to come back to the show?

How did Simon convince me to come back? I made him sell his soul to the devil! Only joking, no, I missed the UK and love my job as a mentor on the show. He said he wanted to have fun this year, so I was like, ‘Alright, sign me up!’.

You’ve never done a full series with Simon on the UK show, what’s he like?

I’ve never done a full series with him in the UK and I think ever since he became a dad he’s softening up a lot. I feel like his critiques are very honest, very Simon, no nonsense, he won’t beat around the bush, he’ll get straight to it. But at the same time he feels people, he’s quite sensitive, he knows how to handle certain people. So he’ll go, ‘Look, this is never going to happen, but I like you and this is a great quality of yours’. So he gives them constructive criticism and I’m like, ‘Who is this man over here?!’.

You’ve got a close bond with Sharon, why is that?

She’s the queen and I have nothing but the utmost respect for her. She’s been there for me from the beginning. I don’t know if many people know this but I was a part of her Judge’s House about ten years ago, when I was just starting out in the Pussycat Dolls. It’s like she’s such a mamma, she really takes you under her wing and takes care of you. We had such a tight bond on our last season together, we would have Sunday dinners every single week. I just love her, she’s so nurturing yet she’s balls to the wall.

What about Louis?

Ah my little Lou Lou, he’s really been there for me. I feel like he’s been one of my number one fans from the beginning. I came in and did a guest spot on The X Factor many years ago and we just got along. We have the same sense of humour, we’re goofy, we both like potatoes and Guinness! We just get along so well, we take care of each other, I love him.

How do you think this panel compares to previous years?

I can’t comment on any other panel because I wasn’t a part of it. I can imagine it was awesome and had great energy. But I can only speak on my own experience, and for me I’m honoured to be a part of this panel because I know Simon, Louis and Mrs O are the originals, the titans of The X Factor. They started it, just the three of them. So for them to want me to be the fourth judge is a real honour.

A lot might be made of the age of the panel this year as it’s much older than last year, what impact do you think that has?

That’s awesome, look how glorious we all look! I don’t think the panel is too old, I mean, you have me and I’m Sch-amaze to the balls! Then Simon invented this, Mrs O is the queen of rock and roll and Lou Lou has been doing this forever, so I think experience speaks for itself. I think it’s hard when you’re trying to make a new start and discover things, just blossoming and haven’t experienced life yourself, you’re still trying to figure it out - so how are you going to mentor someone else who hasn’t even gone through life enough?

There’s one person who owes his career to you, Rylan...he’s back!

Yeah, my baby! I can’t believe he’s back. He told me and I was like, ‘Well what cut am I getting?!’. I’m joking! I’m so proud of him. He looks amazing, I see his face all over the TV and that just goes to show, giving credit to the show, that it’s not just about having the best singing voice but having some kind of star quality. I saw it in him from the start, I had such an awesome year that year, I had my Jahmene, Rylan and my James, they were all so di erent and unique in their own ways, but they have all been successful in their own ways and I’m proud of all three of my boys. They are my little babies, my little lamb chops!

You’ve been away for a little while, so does the UK still have talent?

Does the UK still have talent? Yes! And it’s astounding how young some of these people are, how mature they are and their voices. But when you’re born with it, you have it, so you have to do something with it. The UK definitely has talent.

Simon has been naughty during auditions and keeps stealing your ideas, how annoying is that? We need to do an entire segment on Simon Cowell stealing all of my ideas. In the beginning what he used to do is that I would say things, then I’d listen and he would comment, saying the exact same thing. I’d be like, ‘That’s funny because I’ve just said that!’ and he goes, ‘Not in the edit darling, not in the edit!’, and I’m like, ‘You what!!!”. He’s been stealing pretty much everything, but I take it as a compliment. I’m fighting with the producers now so when he tries to repeat what I have just said I try to speak over him so they can’t use it in the show.

Simon’s been rather cheeky and had you singing songs from Cats with some of the contestants... Yeah, he’s being cheeky! I think he loves torturing me on this show. I’m the one, of course, who has to dance with the people, sing with the people and help them out. It’s all good fun and in the moment I just feel so bad for the people. But I do my best to try and help them out. I’m going to get Simon back one of these days.

Looking ahead to the live shows, what are you most looking forward to?

With the live shows anything goes, anything can happen. It’s such an amazing energy from the audience, I love watching our contestants perform, that’s what gives me Sch-life! I’m an adrenalin junkie and that’s just the ultimate adrenalin rush. If you F-up, you F-up for all of the world! That’s a rush.

Are you going to be naughty seeing as Simon can’t edit you during the live shows? I mean, I’m a classy but sassy doll here. It’s going to be fun, I think Mrs O, she’s the mamma, she’s going to take charge of that stu .

Can fans look forward to you taking to the stage yourself and performing your own music? Oh my gosh, yes! I’m definitely going to perform on the show

How much do you want to win?

How much do I want to win? I want to say that winning doesn’t matter but I’m the most competitive person you will ever meet. So watch your back Simon Cowell! I always say that it’s not about winning, but I am so detailed with everything I do so whenever I have my contestants I dot all the Is and cross every T, I just want to make sure everything is at its best, otherwise what are we doing? We’re wasting our time and we don’t do that, we’re always looking for greatness. I’m going to do everything I can to help my contestants be great.

X Factor returns this Saturday and Sunday on ITV


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