The History of Nicole Scherzinger on Talent Shows, From ‘X Factor’ to ‘The Masked Singer’

Jill O'Rourke
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Nicole Scherzinger on 'The Masked Singer' Red CarpetPhoto by Michael Tran/WireImage

Nicole Scherzinger has become a talent show staple over the years. Not only did she get her big break on the show Popstars USA, but she’s been a judge on several shows over the years, including The X Factor and The Masked Singer.


Nicole Scherzinger Got Her Start on ‘Popstars USA’

In 2001, Scherzinger auditioned for the WB show Popstars USA, through which she joined the girl group Eden’s Crush alongside Ana Maria Lombo, Maile Misajon, Ivette Sosa, and Rosanna Tavarez.

The group released the debut single “Get Over Yourself” and later the album Popstars. They even toured with NSYNC and Jessica Simpson, but ended up disbanding when their label went bankrupt. Scherzinger went on to join the Pussycat Dolls in 2003.

The Pussycat Dolls released two studio albums before taking a hiatus in 2009. In that same year, Scherzinger got her toes wet in the talent show judging scene as a panelist on The Sing-Off, alongside Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman. She judged for two seasons before being replaced by Sara Bareilles.


She Went on to Win Dancing with the Stars

In 2010, Scherzinger showed off her dancing skills on Season 10 of Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with Derek Hough, and they went on to win the season. It was Hough’s second win on the show, having previously taken home the Mirrorball with Brooke Burke in Season 7.

Shortly after competing on DWTS, Scherzinger appeared as a guest judge on The X Factor UK. The appearance was notable, as Scherzinger helped the show form boy band One Direction. This was the start of her long career on The X Factor.

Scherzinger went on to win another talent show in 2015. She appeared on the series I Can Do That, in which six celebrities performed skills in various fields. Scherzinger finished the show in first place. It didn’t receive another season.


Scherzinger Has Judged Various X Factor Shows

Perhaps Scherzinger’s most notable talent show gig has been on various incarnations of The X Factor. After her first guest judge appearance, Scherzinger joined the American version of the show in 2011, replacing Cheryl as a judge.

In 2012, Scherzinger replaced Kelly Rowland as a judge on Season 9 of The X Factor UK. She returned for Season 10, then took a break from judging before returning for Seasons 13 and 14. The singer also judged two X Factor spin-offs, Celebrity and The Band, in 2019.

Scherzinger also had a brief stint as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent. She appeared on the panel during Season 9, which also took place in 2019. That was a busy year for the star, as it also marked her debut on The Masked Singer.

She Joined The Masked Singer in 2019

These days, Scherzinger is best known for her spot on the judging panel of The Masked Singer. She joined the show in its first season in 2019, and she’s judged every season since then, up to the recent Season 7, alongside Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, and Ken Jeong.

In Season 6, Scherzinger took the Masked Singer stage for the first time to duet with Queen of Hearts, who was later voted winner and unmasked as Jewel. The series was recently renewed for Season 8, although the judging panel has yet to be officially confirmed.

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