Just days ago, official word came through that former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger would be sitting at the "X Factor" judges' panel instead of U.K. pop star Cheryl Cole. The announcement came after much speculation and debate about who the fourth judge on the Fox talent show would be alongside Simon Cowell, fellow former "American Idol" panelist Paula Abdul and music-biz executive L.A. Reid.
Scherzinger spoke to The Hollywood Reporter during her first tapings as an "X Factor" judge in New Jersey this week, commenting that she "tries not to read" all the stories surrounding her and Cole.
As for whether she found it difficult transitioning from being one of the program's co-hosts to a panelist, Scherzinger said, "Not at all. I'm just so happy to be a part of this show, no matter what ... I was nervous. I'm much more comfortable onstage." As for the woman she replaced as a judge, she called Cole "a lovely, beautiful girl."
Scherzinger went on to say that "L.A. is my idol," and seemed enthusiastic about adapting the hit British show for American audiences. "[It's] frickin' wicked awesome," she gushed. "It's like a spaceship coming to America to give the people what they want."
Abdul also had kind words for Cole. "As I've said, she's über-talented. She's lovely. We're friends. We have a great time together," she noted.
In addition, Adbul had nice things to say about her former on-screen rival, Cowell. "[We're] having the greatest time," she admitted. "This sounds out of character ... We're laughing a lot. He's actually saying, 'I have to agree' with me. I have the horrible feeling the other shoe will drop. He's being charming in a weird way."