Simon Cowell: Nicole Scherzinger is selfish and ruthless
(...it's meant as a compliment)
SIMON Cowell has told US X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger how much he admires her - for being "selfish and ruthless".
Nicole joined the panel after Cheryl Cole was axed just two weeks into her American dream.
In a thinly-veiled jibe at Geordie beauty Cheryl, Nicole, 33, said: "It takes a certain breed to survive in this business. You have to be a fighter - nobody else is going to do it for you."
Nicole told the music mogul: "Simon, you can't get rid of me." Talking at the show's launch, Simon, 51, had told the former Pussycat Doll: "I think you've proven that there's nothing wrong with being selfish.
"You are somebody I've admired, who has ruthlessly succeeded in their career even when you left the Pussycat girls behind.
"And there's nothing wrong with that because it's about ambition."
Simon also revealed that he thought Cheryl had sacrificed a good career move by turning down her old job on the UK X Factor.
He added: "It would've been good for her. Initially she accepted and then when it went public negotiations fell apart. She was offered a chance to come back to America but decided not to." Simon said Cheryl, 28, still won't talk to him, but they do text each other.
He added: "When you have the history we have, you'll eventually work it out." Simon is also battling with fellow judge L.A. Reid, 55, to lose weight before the US show is screened next month. A source said: "Neither man is getting any younger so they need to work hard to look good."