Nicole Scherzinger "really relates" to Cheryl Cole.

The 'Right There' singer - who sensationally replaced Cheryl on the US version of 'The X Factor' after being promoted from a host to a judge - believes the British star is "lovely" and thinks they both faced similar issues on the music TV talent show.

She said: "She's lovely. We really relate - we both find it very hard to say, 'No' to the contestants; we both go at it from the same place; we both give heartfelt and constructive criticism."

Despite now being renowned as one of the world's most beautiful women, the 33-year-old star - who is in a relationship with Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton - insisted that was not always the case.

She told Britain's InStyle magazine: "I was a geek in high school, I only got rid of my glasses when I joined the Pussycat Dolls."

Nicole recently claimed she was delighted to be made a judge on the show - alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid - because it meant she had more of a voice, and claimed Cheryl left the show "for herself".

She said: "I have no idea. I think she made the decision ultimately for herself. I heard that maybe Girls Aloud are going back on tour.

"I did start out as a host and then they asked me to be a judge, I felt like I was better served as a judge, I could mentor and have a voice."