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Is Nicole Scherzinger Leaving ‘X Factor’?

Nicole Scherzinger
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Say it ain’t so, Scherzy! Following the excitement of the ‘X Factor‘ finale this week comes news that Over 30s judge Nicole Scherzinger may not return for season two.

In an interview with Radar Online, the former Pussycat Doll dodged questions about the second season of the Fox hit that introduced the world to winner Melanie Amaro and runner up (and Scherzinger’s “inspiration”) Josh Krajcik.

We suspect Scherzinger’s relationship with her fans and fellow judges may also play a big role in her decision. When she came under fire for sending the competition into deadlock — resulting in fan favorite Rachel Crow‘s arguably untimely exit — Scherzy faced major backlash. Paula Abdul urged Scherzinger to make the choice, but by the time that news broke, the damage had been done. “I’m used to being on stage and performing and singing for people and people cheering for me,” Scherzinger said of her difficulties judging. “I am an artist first, not a judge first! The elimination process for me has been very difficult,” she continued. “I definitely took the cake this year [for crying] – I think I got 25 strong points on that!”

Last month, it was rumored that Scherzinger may switch countries with Kelly Rowland to judge in the U.K. version of the show — and that it was Simon Cowell‘s idea.

However, Scherzinger insists that she simply wants to focus on her art. “Next year for me, it’s about my music,” she told Radar. “This has been quite a learning experience, quite a journey for me. I didn’t expect to have been so emotional through the whole elimination process. I wanted to just mentor and empower artists.” We think she did a great job at that — Krajcik alone made us believers!

Scherzinger points out that the U.S. release of her solo record, ‘Killer Love,’ has been long delayed — and she pointed at ‘X Factor’ filming as why. “The reason it hasn’t come out yet is because of ‘X Factor. It’s been so time consuming,” Scherzinger said. “I work with these contestants six days a week. So I delayed the album, but I was able to perform one of my new singles last week.”

Another distraction from ‘X Factor’? Scherzinger may have been bitten by the acting bug! She shot ‘Men in Black III’ with Will Smith and wants to continue pursuing silver screen stardom. “I really want to find the right roles and the right opportunities in acting,” Scherzinger said. “Theater is actually what I studied in college.”

While we understand Scherzinger’s reasons for potentially not returning, we’re going to miss her. She was always warm and encouraging — a great foil for the sometimes sour, scowling Simon Cowell — but ultimately, the choice is hers. Let’s just hope she has an easier time with this decision than she did when she sent Rachel Crow packing.

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