I am so conflicted about my feelings for Nicole Scherzinger. On one hand, she has the personality of my shoe, she dresses like Versace crossed with Lita Ford and she showed herself to be one of the least popular reality show judges of all time on the first season of X Factor US. On the other hand, she helped put together One Direction and she knows Dave Grohl well enough to ask him if one of her contestants can do a Foo Fighters song. It’s so tough.
If you don’t know, Nicole was discovered on Popstars in 2001 and formed an all-girl group with her co-finalists. This gives her something in common with my love Cheryl Cole, but Eden’s Crush were no Girls Aloud.
This hit #1 on the Canadian singles chart!!
Nicole could have been the next Fergie–Cheryl Cole’s mentor will.i.am asked her to be in the Black Eyed Peas–but she was still under contract with Eden’s Crush. The next thing you will remember her in is The Pussycat Dolls.
Did people really like this? According to Wikipedia, they were the “80th most successful musical act of the 2000s.” Ummm, ok.
Her music and reality show career qualified her to be a judge on The Sing Off, which I watched during her time on it and don’t remember her at all. I think that’s a good sign. She also won Dancing With the Stars in 2010, but neither Katie nor I stoop so low as to watch that.
For the seventh series of X Factor UK she was asked to be a guest judge during auditions while Danni Minogue was on maternity leave. Later Cheryl contracted malaria and Nicole came back for boot camp. At the time I thought it was really smart of her to change the over-25s to over-28s: the overs were a strong group as it was, and someone like Matt Cardle would have a better chance of advancing if he was with the weaker boy’s group. The younger boys were pulled by Simon, with Nicole’s help, to form One Direction. Unfortunately, changing the age of the overs also caused Louis Walsh to lose his god damn mind and send through this weirdo:
I said it Sunday, but crazy Louis should have his vote taken away.
Her time on the US X Factor was fraught with all kinds of problems. Here are two people from judge’s house that she did not put through.
Christa Collins had some backstory that the show was fixated on, but I thought she was kind of interesting and I liked her voice a lot.
Elaine was such a powerhouse and such a cool older lady! People were pretty pissed about her ouster because it helped this shit make it through:
WTF?? Dexter is X Factor UK-level of kooky. I don’t even want to talk about him.
Stacy was a classic oversinger with a regular story that The X Factor tried to turn into a sob story: she quit singing at the urging of her ex and raised kids instead. Unfortunately, Stacy was not a no one: she was in Ex Girlfriend, who put out two records, and had a career on TV and Broadway. The show really wanted to make stars out of nobodies but sometimes that’s just not the right story. Simon gave Stacy horrible advice, which Nicole internalized and started choosing terrible big cheesy ballads instead of nuanced choices like this George Michael number.
But Nicole did a few things right.
LeRoy’s narrative was that he’s 60 (and still looks fucking hot, tattoos and all!!) and likes adult alternative from the 90s. Nicole let him sing U2, Bob Seger, Sarah McLachlan and Lonestar (???) but never made him go out of his comfort zone, which is how he only made it to the top 9. He could have excelled had Nicole given him a better story with his music but she was too busy with Josh.
I watch almost every major reality singing competition show and every season there is one singer that every hipster talks about.
This video has over 7 million views–the others I’ve posted are all well under 300K. Josh Krajcik, burrito slinger, was meme gold. He also needed help with his wardrobe and hair, two things Nicole seemingly knows a lot about, AND NEVER GAVE HIM ADVICE.
But she did call Dave Grohl and get a song cleared for Josh–she knows Dave from when Days of the New, a super shitty alternative band she sang backup in for a while pre-Eden’s Crush, opened for the Foos.
I was floored when I saw this. Not only does Josh do an amazing job, since it’s such a perfect song for him, but I never thought Dave would let one of his songs be on a reality show. He has famously talked loads of shit about Glee. I guess he remembers Nicole fondly.
Josh came in second place to another noted oversinger, Melanie Amaro, and beat Chris “I was on meth but now I’m clean” Rene. The first season was rough, and I don’t think anyone did a very good job (I generally like Simon on X Factor UK, he picks better songs than he does in the US), so it surprised me when Nicole was not only fired but then picked up by X Factor UK as a judge. Her mentoring is not worse than Danni or even cranky old coot Louis Walsh. No, Nicole’s problem is she’s too nice and doesn’t know enough about music.
As I’ve seen in the first two episodes of X Factork UK, Nicole is still too nice. But she seems to really want to be a part of the show, especially since she’s trying to make it work with her hot Brit boyfriend, Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton:
Next time: Louis Walsh. I FINALLY get to talk about Jedward. [WE LOVE JEDWARD!!!! -K]