NICOLE Scherzinger has dealt X Factor bosses a hammer blow — by threatening to quit the show and reboot her own pop career.
The former Pussycat Doll, 34, said that getting two of her acts — James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas — into the final would be the perfect exit strategy.
She said: “I’m really glad I did the show. I don’t know if I’ll come back next year. End on a high, right?”
Nicole has emerged as the most popular judge on this year’s panel and her departure would be another nail in the coffin of the ailing ITV1 show.
However, Nicole, who has a new album in the pipeline, is keen to go back on tour.
She said: “This year has changed my life. As an artist, it’s put into perspective what I want, how to go about it.
“People have made me so comfortable and I have to thank you.”
But she joked ITV may be able to change her mind. Asked if she was holding out for a big pay rise, she laughed: “That’s what I’m talking about!”
Yesterday she sang with Jahmene at the Christian’s local church in Swindon, Wilts.
Jahmene’s emotional rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Look To You moved his mentor to tears on Saturday night.
He broke down singing it at his brother Daniel’s funeral in 2008.
Jahmene explained: “The lyrics are, ‘As I lay me down, heaven hear me now, I’m lost without a cause, after giving it my all,’ and I just thought, ‘That is what my brother would say’. I felt like that was him on the arms of the angels just going up.”
Saturday’s final will see Kylie, Kelly Clarkson and Rita Ora perform while Rihanna, One Direction and Emeli Sande appear on Sunday.