The X Factor is back, and the new series sees the return of some favourite faces as rock royalty Sharon Osbourne, pop sensation Nicole Scherzinger, chart maestro Louis Walsh and The X Factor creator and music mogul Simon Cowell are reunited on the judging panel.
Nicole Scherzinger has revealed how Simon Cowell persuaded her to return, and how she’s looking forward to performing on the main stage during the live shows.
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 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.
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 different 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!
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.
Can fans look forward to you taking to the stage yourself and performing your
Oh my gosh, yes! I’m definitely going to perform on the show, I can’t wait. I’m in the lab cooking something up right now, you’re going to get something new from me.
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.
The X Factor returns on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August at 8pm on ITV.