December 22, 2011 3:13am PT by Shirley Halperin
'X Factor's' Nicole Scherzinger on the 'Krajcik Magic': 'We've Come Full Circle... At Last'
It’s been a long journey of many months and even more tears but X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger couldn’t have been prouder on Wednesday night. Not only did her Over 30s finalist Josh Krajcik bring it home with his performances of “Uninvited” with Alanis Morissette and an encore of “At Last,” his audition song, but a sense of accomplishment took over following the first half of the finale. After some 100,000 hopefuls, the three contestants left -- Krajcik, Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro -- were the right people who belonged there.
“I feel like the three finalists truly represent what X Factor is all about,” Scherzinger told reporters after Wednesday’s finale. “They're diverse, they're authentic, they're original -- they’re artists and unique in their own ways.”
Scherzinger says she roots for all three while each is on stage, but is naturally closest to Josh. “I mentored him and I believe in him and I'd love to see a burrito slinger get a chance like this,” she said. “We've come full circle -- at last.”
So what is it that Kracjik Magic formula that makes this unlikely pop star so irresistible? “It’s this soul that he possesses that's otherworldly,” Scherzinger explained. “The Krajcik Magic is the real and raw undeniable thing that he has, which is that he's just an authentic musician with no bells and whistles, no smoke and mirrors. The magic comes from that internal emotion and soul - that not all artists have. ... He's got a voice that roars like a lion and at the same time is so musical it's like a symphony.”
And while Scherzinger admitted she found the “judging” part of her job difficult, she skillfully evaded questions about whether she would return for season 2. “At the beginning of the year, I'm focusing on my album and putting it out and going on tour in Europe and focusing on music,” she said. “X Factor isn’t until later in the year.”
It seems at the end of the road, the emotional rollercoaster was not limited to contestants in this competition. “It took a lot out of me,” said Scherzigner, “I'm an artist first, not a judge so I wear my heart on my sleeve and I can only be myself.” At the same time, she added that the exercise left her feeling “amazing -- it was an honor to be a part of this show.”