“I was very conservative. “I pretty much executive-produced those records. “I don’t have a good memory, and I remember that audition like it was yesterday,” she says. She saw doctors, but it was only towards the end of the Dolls, when Scherzinger was in her early 30s, that she started to put her issues behind her. Tickets available from livenation.co.uk, Wildly entertaining! Scherzinger had only just returned to London from presenting at the MTV Europe music awards in Spain the previous night. In 1999, Scherzinger was hired by Days of the New band leader Travis Meeks to contribute vocals on their self-titled second studio album and later dropped out of college to tour through the US in support of the album. She was formerly a member of the teen pop group Eden’s Crush. “And it comes with it, unfortunately – we all deal with it.” So Scherzinger has struggled with online abuse herself? As lead singer, she was the only one of the six to gain mainstream name recognition, reportedly a consistent source of tension within the group, and a factor in its dissolution after two albums in 2010. That music felt like my music.”, Now, after years of speculation, the Pussycat Dolls are reuniting for a UK tour in 2020. “This is still a massive, huge platform. Scherzinger put together One Direction as a guest judge at the show’s peak (“I remember saying: ‘They will be undeniable to girls’”); now The X Factor: Celebrity is registering its lowest-ever ratings. But today I find Scherzinger engaging company over a cup of mid-afternoon tea: unflinching, unapologetic, revealing shades of her surprise conservative streak and the “goofball” she assures me she can be. Nuh-uh. “I think there’s something to be said for leaving a little bit for the imagination. Scherzinger chalks that up to being a perfectionist: “My mother said when I was a little girl, if I coloured slightly outside of the lines, I would rip the page and throw it across the room.”, Would she like to be a star on Adele’s level – or Lady Gaga, who toured as Pussycat Dolls’ support? “Nothing. “My team has to wrestle me to to the ground to get me on a red carpet … I’d much rather just be at home, eating jambon.”, But she is working on new music, and diligently sets deadlines to ensure that her personal goals don’t fall by the wayside. Scherzinger – then fresh out of Eden’s Crush, a short-lived girl group assembled through the US version of Popstars – had been recruited to the Pussycat Dolls from a cold audition. I just rolled up my sleeves, got in the studio and turned out these records. I just wanted to make my mother proud.”. Then she had said she was “very relatable”, and I’d hoped my scepticism hadn’t registered on my face. Nicole Scherzinger Facts. She had been told that her bulimia was affecting her vocal cords: “It was a real awakening for me.” She saw more doctors, she did therapy, “but in the end it has to be yourself”. We are at the Rosewood hotel in Holborn, London, picking up where we left off a few days ago, when our interview had ended after half an hour due to a meeting being brought forward. It’s hard to think that someone can take someone else’s life. Scherzinger was nominated for an Olivier award for her turn as Grizabella in the West End revival of Cats in 2014, and was set to reprise the role on Broadway two years later before pulling out at the last minute. I think we all hold responsibility, in everything in life. The way that people looked at and treated them, and then how they looked at and treated me by his side; I just thought it was sexist. “I would say: ‘Inside every woman is a Pussycat Doll, inside every woman is a Lizzo.’”. Reviews condemned or celebrated the “fantasy of a girl group that’s only in it for sex” (to quote from one that was very much in favour). She remembers, before her audition, being intimidated by other women dressed only in their underwear; she had only ever performed in lingerie while playing Velma Kelly in her college production of Chicago. “It’s just a horrible thing that I would never wish upon anyone else, and it haunts me every day that … um,” – she pauses for a long time, her voice cracking – “we have no justice for him yet. I just don’t go on the friggin’ internet!”, The most sexism she has ever encountered has been while in the company of high-profile ex-boyfriends, she says; Lewis Hamilton is implied, although she does not identify him by name. She discusses body image, online abuse, success and Simon Cowell, Last modified on Mon 2 Dec 2019 10.31 GMT, “It takes a lot for Nicole Scherzinger to burn out,” says Nicole Scherzinger, X Factor judge, Broadway singer, Pussycat Doll, and celebrity face of yoghurt; and I believe her. I’m also for the human race in general”) but Lizzo, she says, is carrying “the torch for female empowerment” that Scherzinger held 14 years ago with the Pussycat Dolls. I want to be on my 15th world tour.”, The fact that she isn’t, Scherzinger says, is partly a reflection of her social anxiety and her reluctance to be “more of a fame whore, as people call it”. “I’m a pretty tough cookie. Nicole was born, when her mother was 18 years old. Little Mix are so successful because those girls worked their little tushies off.”. Stars love to claim that they are just like us, but Scherzinger’s quotidian glamour – her authoritative presence on The X Factor; her ubiquity on red carpets and in the tabloids, for years as Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend – had made it seem more of a reach for her than others. Nicole Scherzinger: ‘I set such high expectations, I want to be on my 15th world tour’. Meeks claims that after touring, the two grew apart creatively and that despite being an "amazing entertainer", she "just didn't seem to understand music very well … she's just not much of a musician, nor [does she] understand music." “We can choose to beat ourselves up or go back to those old patterns, or we can choose to learn and grow and evolve and be like: ‘I’m going to have to rewire my brain’.” She returns regularly to this theme: that self-love, success, even happiness are all down to a decision, then determination. The Pussycat Dolls are back, and their main singer is determined to enjoy it. When we first met, I had asked Scherzinger, 41, how she defined herself; what the through line was in the projects she took on, from Lloyd Webber to Müller. But the Pussycat Dolls – one of the best-selling girl groups ever – were also peculiarly of their time, radio-friendly hits driving their profile and album sales in a way that no longer seems possible in the streaming era. When, in 2005, the Pussycat Dolls’ Don’t Cha had been inescapable atop the charts in 15 countries – as in, “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” – I had related to the girlfriend. “Oh, absolutely. “That really upset me, I won’t lie about that. Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson struggled under the spotlight, particularly, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Florida. Founding choreographer Robin Antin and the record industry executives working to turn her dance group into a band agreed to see Scherzinger as a favour to her lawyer. Nicole Scherzinger The most sexism she has ever encountered has been while in the company of high-profile ex-boyfriends, she says; Lewis Hamilton is implied, although she does not … Doll parts … Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella in Cats. Whitney Houston is her greatest musical influence. The week before we speak, in early November, her cousin was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, and “because my mom took on the stress of that, she was put in the emergency room,” she says. And then afterwards, it’s up to the contestants. “It really puts things in perspective. I’m a massive fan of all the cool kids out there, I’m not going to judge them. She has never even kissed anyone in a music video, while now, “people sucking each other’s faces off and dry-humping – it’s everywhere, you know?”, She mocks herself a little for clutching her metaphorical pearls – while drinking tea and wearing a cardigan – but admits that a part of her is quite traditional. “It’s like, they’ve already given you a platform; this overnight success that you’re getting is what people have taken their whole lives to achieve, and some will never even get there. Guess what happens when you die?” She meets my eyes with fierce focus. “In the past I’ve said you can never work too much.”. “It’s not going to be a walk in the park. I was devastated.”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wife Madeleine comforted her over the phone, the couple being “like family” to her in London, she says (Lloyd Webber’s “absolute twot” comment behind them, then). Turn me down to my face, at least, and they didn’t.” In that light, I say, the Broadway nights seem like she is getting her own back. The Pussycat Dolls were unleashed into the world in 2005, presented on their debut album PCD as a playfully predatory gang, with Scherzinger the ringleader. The X Factor is actually worth watching again, Nicole Scherzinger: ‘I was living in a very dark world – either working or tormenting myself’, Nicole Scherzinger: ‘Anything that’s worth having is going to take work.’, t takes a lot for Nicole Scherzinger to burn out,” says Nicole Scherzinger, X Factor judge, Broadway singer, Pussycat Doll, and celebrity face of yoghurt; and I believe her. “Hey. “Guess I got balls.”. That narrative, of the triumph of the individual is also a cornerstone of The X Factor, of which Scherzinger has been a fixture in the US and the UK since 2011. Don’t Cha by Pussycat Dolls ft Busta Rhymes. “Yeah. Her mother is in a stable condition now, but her cousin’s killer has still not been identified, says Scherzinger, growing tearful. How does Scherzinger think Don’t Cha will be received in this era of mainstream feminism, when pop stars are more concerned with building women up (if sometimes superficially, at least) than stealing their boyfriends? Scherzinger rolls her eyes at the reminder that they had been fined for public indecency while performing in Kuala Lumpur. In late October she staged two intimate performances for about 150 members of the Broadway community to showcase another side of her as an artist, with plans to repeat it in London. “They were rolling their eyes anyway, they only let me take two steps into the room. She would sometimes go to the gym for five to eight hours a day and she obsessed over food. I was either working or tormenting myself.” That is why she says she has always been in favour of a Dolls reunion: “I didn’t get to enjoy it before.”.