According to reports, Scherzinger, fellow judge Paula Abdul and Welsh host Steve Jones had failed to impress Simon Cowell with their series one performances and were axed from the show.
But in an interview with the stunning Scherzinger just days before the announcement was made, the 33-year-old hinted she would not be going back.
“Doing the X Factor meant I had to commit all of my time to the show, because I wanted to be a good judge and mentor,” she told me. “But I was not prepared for such a time consuming role. And I was certainly not prepared for how intense and difficult the elimination process turned out to be. I am an artist first and foremost, so my heart really went out to them.”
Nicole also told of her shock at the backlash over 13-year-old Rachel Crow. The teen found herself in the bottom two with Marcus Canty and it was left to Scherzinger to have the deciding vote. Instead, she let the public decide, by sending it to deadlock. In her heart, Scherzinger thought Canty would leave but it was the younger girl who received the fewer votes. She broke down sobbing hysterically and in the days that followed, Scherzinger found herself a figure of hate on Twitter.
“I was so surprised by the backlash,” she said. “Rachel Crow, you know, it just broke my heart. I let it go to the American vote and they sent Rachel home. Nothing could have prepared me for all that. I am an artist, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I know what it feels like to be up there.”
In an indication that she would not be returning to the show, she added: “Right now I want to focus on my music and my first solo tour.”
Scherzinger is Belfast-bound as part of her upcoming debut solo headlining tour and can’t wait to get back on the road.
“I’m so excited about the tour,” she said. “I’m in the process of getting ready for it. There’ll be a little bit of everything in there, singing and dancing, a Pussycat Dolls set, a stripped back acoustic set, my own songs.
“It’ll be a bit weird not having the rest of the girls with me but I’ll be bringing their energy onto the stage. And I have a brilliant live band and some beautiful dancers.”
Of course the stunning beauty was in Belfast before, in January 2009, with the Pussycat Dolls. That night, the opening act was Lady Gaga.
She said: “I’ll tell you what I remember about the Irish fans, they are electrifying. I remember looking out into the sea of faces and seeing all these young girls going mad. I felt like one of the Beatles. Honestly, they really blew me away.”
Scherzinger is also busy releasing her debut album in the US, a reworked version of the UK hit, produced by RedOne.
“I am so ecstatic with the response to the album in the UK. I’m very grateful. I did the music that I connect with and I hope and pray fans connect with it too.“
“It’s a personal album, about relationships, love, heartache, coming through heartache. But you know, it’s uplifting and very relatable.”
It’s also been rumoured that the sexy singer is back with the love of her life, Formula One star Lewis Hamilton. Last October, after dating for four years, the pair split. But reports claim they’ve been hooking up for secret meetings. So are they back together?
“Sorry, I don’t want to talk about my personal life,” she replied. “It’s just the media make things up all the time. All I will say is that I am very happy in my personal life right now.”
Nicole Scherzinger plays the Waterfront Hall on February 15.