This fall, Ryan Seacrest will be displaced as prettiest host on FOX TV. Pussycat Doll and sultry midriff-shakin' solo artist Nicole Scherzinger has confirmed she'll handle emcee duties (along with Welsh TV stud Steve Jones) for the buzzworthy FOX singing competition The X Factor. The series, already burning pop pages with news of a Simon Cowell/Paula Abdul "Idol"-free reteam, is based off the British series of the same name and will also feature Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid.
In an interview yesterday, the singer spoke about joining the expected juggernaut as well as her forthcoming album Killer Love. For Scherzinger, the U.S. reboot will be a little deja vu in that she worked alongside Cowell briefly in the UK incarnation. "Normally, I don't buy into the hype, but the hype for this is real," she said. "In the UK, it's a phenomenon. Simon is such a talent -- he's taken singing competitions and reality TV to a whole new level. It's an amazing show."
Scherzinger, who served as a judge for the short-lived similarly styled The Singing Bee on NBC last year, said the X Factor will be another way for her to grow as an artist. Over the years, the 32-year-old Honolulu native hasn't just been a staple on MTV, she's appeared on sitcoms (How I Met Your Mother) starred in a West End production of Rent (she hasn't ruled out Broadway at some point) and strutted her way to a Dancing With the Stars trophy last year. She'll also appear in Men in Black 3 next summer. Whether it's music, television or film, Scherzinger said she won't stop pushing herself.
"With the music industry being what it is, and the Internet, you have to have your hands in all things. You've got to do it all," she explained, before quickly adding, "music, for me though, is the guiding force...my engine...my everything."
Thankfully, she said, serving as "artist ambassador" with Cowell and company allows her to grow within that industry. It also will give her a huge forum to promote her new album -- my words, not hers -- which can't hurt. Her third solo album focuses on a recent relationship that fell apart, and how she dealt with it and put the pieces back together. "Part of the reason I wrote this album is because I feel there are a lot of people who can relate. It's an empowering album," she said.
Earlier this month, the first single "Right There," which features 50 Cent, was released simultaneously with her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog," dropped for the NBA Playoffs. The rapper joins an impressive list, that includes T.I., Prince, Snoop Dogg, and Enrique Iglesias (to name a few) of performers Scherzinger has been fortunate to collaborate with.
"To grow up listening to so many of [these artists], you're inspired when they contact you because they speak the same language. I feel very blessed to have these relationships," she said.
As for that 50 Cent collaboration, is it too early to dub it the "song of the summer?" Weigh in below.