Belfast Telegraph

Nicole Scherzinger favourite for X Factor return - report

Rita Ora was not the "automatic top option" as a returning judge for The X Factor and Nicole Scherzinger is the 'favourite' to make a return to the judging panel.

Nicole Scherzinger is reportedly the "definite favourite" to return to the judging panel of The X Factor.

The 37-year-old singer was a huge hit when she appeared on the show in 2012 and 2013 before leaving in 2014 after signing a new multi-million pound recording deal with Sony.

But following Rita Ora's confirmation on Tuesday (10May16) that she is leaving the show, following Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw also quitting the ITV programme, Nicole is now apparently the hot tip to make a comeback on the programme.

"Rita had been in discussions (to return) but it became apparent she was no longer the automatic top option," a source told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"Nicole Scherzinger was a huge success when she was on the X Factor a few years ago and has long been part of the X Factor family. She provided fun and entertainment and a huge personality to the show. She is the definite favourite to get the seat next to Simon."

Nicole's combination of sexy style and unique quotes, such as the phrase "Shamazing", made her popular among viewers. Her judging skills on the 2012 series saw her contestant James Arthur being crowned the winner of the show, while the 2013 season had her mentor the Girls group, with all of her hopefuls eliminated by week 8 of the competition.

If the rumours about this year's (16) series are to be believed, Nicole could return to the panel, alongside Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne.

Louis previously cited Sharon and Nicole as his "dream" co-judges, adding to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "If Simon asked me back, and I thought it would be fun, then absolutely I would.

"If he wants the dream team then he gets me, him, Sharon Osbourne and either Mel B or Nicole Scherzinger."

However, talks surrounding Sharon returning to the show have reportedly been put on the "back burner" due to her husband Ozzy's alleged affair.

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