The X Factor doesn't premiere until September, but Nicole Scherzinger — who replaced British singer Cheryl Cole on the judging panel — has already become fast friends with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Antonio "L.A." Reid.
According to the "Wet" singer, the foursome even shares a dressing room backstage. "Simon calls it the judges' lounge — everything's open — so we all goof around, eat, and get ready in the same place," Scherzinger, 33, tells Marie Claire's September issue. "I'm the luckiest person to get a front-row ticket to the Simon and Paula show."
Born in Hawaii and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Scherzinger — who won a spot in the girl group Eden's Crush via the 2001 reality show Popstars — says she earned the right to sit beside Cowell, 51, Abdul, 49, and Reid, 55.
"I've fought my way to where I am and will continue to do so. I'm a hard worker — I get it from my family. We only know work. Nothing was handed to us," Scherzinger says. "When I believe in something, I go after it. It's very hard to tell me 'no.'"
That can-do attitude helped Scherzinger find the courage to leave the Pussycat Dolls to embark on a solo career. "With the Pussycat Dolls, I had four other girls to fall back on — we were a gang, a team, and that gives you extra confidence. Now I'm bringing it all on my own," she tells Marie Claire.
"I've been working toward this my whole life. This album [Killer Love] is my dream. Everything is timing," she adds. "My music is the driving engine, and The X Factor is where I can give back to the contestants —- pay it forward, since I got my start on reality shows. I'm ready to take it all on."
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!