Nicole Scherzinger is one of the stars of the Fabulous November edition. Check the scans in our gallery and also the interview.
Nobody leaves a five-year relationship unscathed. Nicole Scherzinger certainly didn’t. She was left heartbroken when, following a string of splits and reconciliations, she and Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton finally parted for good in July. During The X Factor auditions this summer, the normally exuberant Nicole was frequently spotted in tears. In fact, so often she later felt forced to explain: “On the personal side, it has been a hard year for me. I am not a robot and I wear my heart on my sleeve.”
Just as she was starting to look a little more sprightly, last month Lewis – who Nicole met at the MTV European Music Awards in November 2007 – was spotted leaving her hotel in the early hours of the morning. For a while it seemed The X Factor judge simply couldn’t cope without her ex.
But today Nicole is keen to clear a few things up. Yes, she and Lewis have split (she insists they are not back together). No, it wasn’t her idea to orchestrate that clandestine hotel tryst. And actually, with the benefit of hindsight, she can see the break-up has done her good.
Today, she sits in an old Victorian house in east London, the location for our fierce shoot. “Lewis and I just got back together, as friends, to speak. It was his idea,” she tells us. But any plans to reunite are, she hints, off the cards. Nicole is enjoying her freedom and is fed up with being portrayed as a victim.
“I read all these silly things and depressing stuff. It’s been a hard year but…” Nicole’s voice trails into a whisper and she pauses. “Through the heartache it’s been liberating.” She continues: “I’m loving seeing life through these eyes. People lose themselves to relationships. You’re living for the other person, putting so much in that you have to take a step back.
“Do things for yourself. Think of yourself. When you’re whole, that’swhen you can be in a relationship.”
With exes also apparently including 50 Cent, rocker Nick Hexum and actor Talan Torriero, Nicole admits this is the first time she’s been truly single since her late 20s. Now 35, how does solo life compare? “It’s better,” she says emphatically. “You’ve experienced more of life, you’re over the insecurity of being alone and appreciate time with yourself more.”
The reason for the break-up with Lewis was, supposedly, the clichéd “work commitments” line. But it was widely speculated that Nicole was desperate to have children, while 28-year-old Lewis wasn’t ready.
“That’s hogwash,” she says. “I definitely want kids – but not for a few years. I’m a career girl. I can’t help it. But my kids are going to be raised by me, the way my mom raised me. So I need to get my stuff out – albums, world tours, movies – and then try to do that.”
Ambitious? Just a little. But Nicole has always prided herself on being a professional. Even when a soggy dog-slobber cloth belonging to the Great Dane posing in our shoot flies close to Nicole’s face, she doesn’t so much as flinch. But curled up on a sofa for our interview, she’s much quieter than the self-styled, quirky “amazeballs” TV persona that’s so endeared Scherzy to us since her first series as an X Factor judge last year.
And she’s as tiny as she is timid. Last month Nicole was pictured leaving the X Factor studios in west London in a crop top that revealed her ribcage, sparking concern. Was her body the product of a stint on the heartbreak diet? Not in the slightest, she insists. “I lost weight consciously. I was having such a great summer. I went to Hawaii, where I was in a bathing suit and surf shorts every day, enjoying myself.”
And with enjoyment comes some good eating. “I love pasta and rice, cheese and wine,” smiles Nicole. “Me and Mexican at midnight is not good, but melted cheese is soyummy.”
Inevitably, she put on weight. “I got to LA and realised that I couldn’t fit into my jeans any more. I told myself to hunker down. I made my portions smaller and cut back on eating late at night. I had many months not caring what I looked like, but at the end of the day, this is my business and I wanted to look my best.”
Nicole’s size-8 body and 26in waist are the result of regular running, circuit training, weights and yoga. Having previously suffered from bulimia for eight years during her Pussycat Dolls days, it’s perhaps not surprising people were concerned by her shrinking frame. But she insists today that the illness is well and truly in her past.
Her toned body isn’t adorned by Cheryl Cole-style tattoos. When we ask what she makes of the former X Factor judge’s infamous rose bum inking, we’re met with a definitive: “No comment”.
Nicole and Cheryl fell out after Chezza wrote in her autobiography that a meeting with Nicole was “awkward” and “embarrassing”. It seems there is still no love lost on Nicole’s side.
Back on the topic of her body, Nicole’s gravitydefying 32C breasts seem at odds with her slender frame. But she says they are natural. “My mum’s got way better boobs and my sister’s are even better,” she laughs. “If you think mine are great, you should see theirs – they’re gaawgeouss!” Born in Hawaii to a Filipino father and half-Hawaiian, half-Ukranian mother, Nicole – the eldest of two sisters – moved to Kentucky with her family when she was six. In 2003, she joined pop/dance group The Pussycat Dolls. Nicole was their lead singer and undisputed star before she left in 2010 to pursue a solo career.
But it was only when she became a judge in the ninth series of The X Factor last year that Nicole was propelled to bona fide A-list status.
Part of her success stems from her notorious “Scherzisms.” These range from: “No, baby, no” to criticise contestants, and “gorge-oire” to praise them, to – our favourite so far – “ma-chest-ical” to describe busty singer Sam Bailey. “Her tattas were winning,” grins Nicole.
She insists she’s been reworking the dictionary since childhood. “I’ve always said: ‘Schamazing’ and when I said: ‘Amazeballs’ I didn’t know you all didn’t say it. ‘Amazing’ is boring – let’s throw some whipped cream with a cherry and sprinkles on it.” Oh, how very Nicole.
Then there’s the rapport she’s built with fellow judges Gary Barlow, 42, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, both 61. She seems happy with the hierarchy of the panel. “Gazza’s head judge, Mrs O is queen judge, LouLou is the jester judge and I’m bonkers. But now Mrs O’s back, she makes me look a bit more sane.”
She’s clearly delighted Sharon, who made her X Factor debut in 2004, has returned. “She’s the one who introduced me to the show by asking me to judges’ houses. I was so shy. She was kind, like a mom.”
Every Sunday night, after the live vote-off, Nicole along with her fellow judges, show presenter Dermot O’Leary and the executive producers, head from Wembley into the West End for dinner. “We go to the Dorchester and the Arts Club,” says Nicole. “Sometimes we have Chinese. Usually we’re just making fun of Louis!” r ecently Dermot told us that Nicole was a “fabulous” drunk. What did he mean by that? “When we get together for cocktails, I’m all about having a great time and making everyone feel good,” she giggles.
Nicole may play the klutz, but dismiss her at your peril. She sees her girls – when we meet, Tamera Foster, 16, Hannah Barrett, 17, and Abi Alton, 19, are still in the competition – five days a week and works with them for seven hours on a Monday. She takes her role seriously.
“What the cameras never show is that I love my job as a mentor,” she says. “I go in hard core. I try to tap into them in every way – emotionally, psychologically and technically. But I do it in a fun way.”
She has presumably needed a sense of humour to deal with Tamera’s “antics”, which include confessions of smoking cannabis and a hookah pipe, a police caution for a fight, and shoplifting.
“That was her past,” says Nicole. “She’s changed. Tamera is respectful. She listens and works hard, which is all she’s supposed to do.”
She is equally defensive of Hannah and her apparent inability to last five minutes on stage without blubbing. “I know the tears are genuine,” she says. “Anyone who watches her performance sees the raw pain and passion. She has gone through a lot to get here. We forget she’s 17. She’s a little baby girl.”
Mentoring has certainly brought out Scherzy’s maternal side. “Absolutely,” she agrees. “I take care of my girls. I get that from my mom. She is selfless.” But she’s also prepared to kick butt when she needs to, such as when she reduced her contestants to tears at boot camp for underperforming. “I’m not in the best mood right now,” she warned them. “The last performance f**ked me off. Please don’t waste my time.”
She looks a little sheepish at the reminder. “A lot of times when I swear it’s more of a joke to get a stupid story across. I try not to use that language because my mom doesn’t approve, but sometimes it’s funny.”
Nicole is intrigued by reports that, with the American version of The X Factor flailing, head judge Simon Cowell might be shifting back to the British show. “It would make sense,” says Nicole. “The X Factor US is bombing. They’re probably going to do away with it, right?” Her publicist winces in the corner as Nicole, with a flash of her famously flamboyant self, continues: “He’s got enough problems over there he needs to worry about. We’re hashtag winning and having fun here.”
Truth is, though, The X Factor on this side of the pond is losing the ratings battle as well – Strictly Come Dancing over on BBC1 has been pulling in around 1.5m viewers more on a Saturday night. Nicole admits that without characters like Rylan Clark or Jedward to unite the British public in disbelief, some viewers might be disappointed in this year’s series. “I’m all about vocals first, but I do miss it a smidgeon,” she says.
With Gary already having announced his resignation on air, does Nicole reckon she’ll be back for series 11? “I’m open to the possibility, but I always talk about that damn music. I’d really like to put out an album. If I wasn’t doing X Factor I’d do a tour or Broadway or a movie. My whole life I’ve hustled and I’ve turned down those opportunities for the show.”
But she’s grateful for the platform The X Factor has given her. “It is awesome, because it makes you a household name. People get behind your music when they get to know you. You have to multi-market yourself these days.”
Despite the contradiction between the bubbly Nicole viewers see and her quiet persona off screen, she insists she’s not putting on an act. “It’s me at my best and heightened,” she says of her telly appearances. “If I spoke like that normally, people would throw tomatoes at my head.”
Unwarranted criticism still upsets her though – especially Twitter abuse. “Some of the stuff is so stupid. Someone said me and [Lady] Gaga were so ugly. I’m like: ‘What is pretty then? Jesus, send me a picture of yourselves…’ People are so mindless. In the past I’ve been hurt, but I’m 35 years old. I’ve got to get it together.”
She doesn’t read her press coverage but can’t resist looking at the pictures. “I need to, to make sure I don’t look crazy. I learn from them,” she says.
Despite her fear of social media abuse, she recently – and quite uncharacteristically – tweeted some sexy selfies during a night out. “I was with my girls from Los Angeles,” she explains. “My friend Debbie is a photographer and said to pose. What’s great about being around girlfriends is you feel cute, I don’t have any dudes to be cute in front of. Afterwards I thought: ‘Oh my God, my legs look good – I’ve been working hard for this, I’m definitely posting these!'” Interview nearly over, Nicole begins to relax. Gesticulating to emphasise her plans for world domination, she brushes her freshly manicured hand against the white cotton robe bought especially for her shoot. “Oh fart, I’ve messed up my nail,” she sighs.
She’s sexy but shy, successful but gloriously goofy, and can, she tells us: “definitely imagine being in a relationship.” Should Ms Scherzinger ever want another man, we’re sure she won’t be short of offers. F.
Watch The X Factor Saturday and Sunday nights, ITV1.
If you copy give the credits.
Thanks selenaonline.net for the scans.
RT @zarnaz_arlia Celebrate the launch of @emplifi_io with us, Thursday, June 24th! We'll have a fun-filled agenda with Angela Gammill from @Delta Air Lines followed by a concert from lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and X-Factor UK, @NicoleScherzy. Hope to see you there! empli.fi/udq8c pic.twitter.com/MOZ28XhSOh
RT @mrzablan Join us for an event unlike any other, with a private concert from @NicoleScherzy. I will also have a live conversation with CX expert Angela Gammill from @Delta Air Lines about closing the CX gap. Hope to see you there! empli.fi/udq8c pic.twitter.com/so2mbz2F95
@maykonlamenha Alguém tem que falar umas verdades pra ela 🤣
@_wilkeroliveira Pandemia. O que se tem de informação (não confirmada) é que elas performariam na parada de SP com a Pabllo 😭