Uh-oh! Was an enforced trip to Middlesborough the final nail in the coffin for Nicole Scherzinger’s X Factor ambitions? Or was it Swindon that broke her? Either way, just hours after Nicole finished taking her two finalists James and Jahmene back to their hometowns for a final publicity surge before Saturday’s final, The Sun have announced that Scherzinger will most likely leave the show at the end of the series.

She reckons that having two of her gang in the final three is a good way to go out on a high. Though frankly, there is still the terrifying possibility that her two gang members might lose out to Christopher Maloney, which wouldn’t really be anything to brag about. It seems as though her work as a mentor on the show this year has inspired her to reinvigorate her own singing career and the 34 year old isn’t 100% sure that she wants to return to the time-consuming job of mentoring and judging next year. “I’m really glad I did the show. I don’t know if I’ll come back next year. End on a high, right?” She added: “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.”

If the show’s producers are keen to keep Nicole on board though, they probably just have to bump her salary a little bit. When asked if a cheeky pay rise might change her mind about leaving, she laughed “That’s what I’m talking about!” What do you think? Should she stay or should she go? 

Sad to be leaving? Nicole gets teary as Jahmene sings Whitney...