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Nicole Scherzinger was given “confidence” by Louis Walsh when she signed up to judge on the UK X Factor.

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The former Pussycat Dolls singer has struck up a friendship with her fellow judge and he has helped her a lot with the programme - as well as always being on hand for a gossip.

She said: “Louis gave me the confidence to think I could do this show. We go out for dinner, we gossip, we talk serious stuff, he’s remarkable.”

Scherzinger has also made a good friend in Tulisa Contostavlos and was happy to stand up for the Young singer when head judge Gary Barlow criticised her ‘fag ash breath’ during a recent live show - even though she was confused by the remark.

She said: “Tulisa’s great, she’s my friend. She’s the one I can kick back and have a glass of wine with. I’ve got her back.

“When Gary called her ‘fag breath’, I was the one who dragged him over off air and told him to sort it out. He did, he went and apologized.”

Though Nicole has a lot of respect for Gary, they don’t spend much time together away from the show.

She told Grazia magazine: “Gary and I talk music. I respect him but we don’t hang out because he’s spending all his spare time with his family.”

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