Nicole: “I’m sassy but I mean business”
Are you enjoying being back?
It feels like home sweet home. 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.
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 think ever since he became a dad he’s softened 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.
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 10 years ago, when I was just starting out in the Pussycat Dolls. She’s such a mama, 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.
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! 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 this year!
When he told me I was like, ‘Well what cut am I getting?!’ Joking! I’m so proud of him. 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.
Are you going to be naughty on the live shows seeing as Simon can’t edit you?
I mean, I’m a classy but sassy doll here. It’s going to be fun, I think Mrs O, she’s the mama, she’s going to take charge of that stuff.
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 every I 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.
“Rylan proves the show is not just about singing”