Monday 16 September 2019

X Factor contestant says Nicole Scherzinger helped her to battle Bootcamp nerves

She’s a strong singer but she has to pull out all the stops in Saturday’s episode to impress the judges.

The X Factor
The X Factor

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

X Factor hopeful Nicole Caldwell has hailed judge Nicole Scherzinger for helping her get through her Bootcamp arena audition after battling crippling nerves on stage.

Caldwell, from Paisley, Renfrewshire – who previously revealed she has lost five-and-a-half stone in weight – is seen in Saturday’s last episode of the Bootcamp stage of auditions.

Although she impressed the judges in the first round of auditions, she struggles with her confidence and is halted mid-song by Simon Cowell, who tells her that she looks like she “doesn’t want to be there”.

The 27-year-old pub singer told the Press Association that she was “not prepared” for how big the arena crowd was at that stage of the competition, adding that “it was the most nerve-wracking thing” she has ever done, even more so than her room audition.

“My nerves were totally shattered, it was quite scary,” she said.

Caldwell added: “I’d been chatting to everyone around me all day, I was like ‘wow, everyone is so amazing’ and you kind of start to doubt yourself a little bit and think ‘where do I fit in?’

“When you’re surrounded by that much talent it is overwhelming.”

She said: “When I started (the Bootcamp arena audition), I feel like I probably had already given up before I’d even started singing.

“But Nicole really helped me a lot on stage, she just gave me so much support and I think she was a big part of me getting through it.”

Nicole Caldwell

Caldwell said Scherzinger had “been amazing” and that her support is what she needed to complete the audition.

Caldwell admitted that having been heavier in her younger days, her confidence is still often rocked.

“If you’ve been bigger, you kind of always see yourself like that,” she said, but added that “my confidence has grown compared to what it was when I was bigger”.

In Bootcamp, she is given a second chance to perform her chosen song, If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys, and the wannabe star has to pull out all the stops to impress the judges to prove she deserves a place in the next round, the Six Chair Challenge.

Other contestants vying for a spot in the Six Chair Challenge are 34-year-old full-time mother Tracy Leanne Jefford, quirky performer Slavko, 31, from Montenegro, plucky 19-year-old make-up artist Scarlett Lee, boy group The Clique and singer-songwriter Grace Davies.

The episode will also see judges Cowell, Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh finally learn which category they will mentor this year – either the Boys, the Girls, the Overs or the Groups.

The X Factor returns on Saturday at 8.15pm on ITV.

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