Nicole Scherzinger drives a Mercedes hybrid and conserves at home. "I'm very conscious of my electricity, and I recycle. I'm like crazy with that, I'll go through the garbage [and say], 'I told you to recycle that!'" A judge on Fox's new singing competition "The X Factor," the former Pussycat Doll brings a unique perspective to a job that also has a mentorship aspect. "I know exactly what they are going through. I've been there. I can empathize with them," she says of the hopefuls. "I come from a different place of compassion and understanding." Ten years ago, she got her start on the TV competition "Popstars" when she was chosen to be in the group Eden's Crush.

"Coming from a small town I didn't know how I was going to get my way all the way to Los Angeles. So I auditioned. And it got me here and in front of the right people, and I just kept hustling ever since then."

Originally hired to co-host, she was promoted to judge when British singer Cheryl Cole was let go, and was "honored and elated" when Simon Cowell asked her to join what she calls "our big, dysfunctional happy family." She's not intimidated by Cowell, she says, and believes she'll be a fair judge. "I want to bring out the best in the contestants. I'm a judge that wears her heart on her sleeve, but when it comes down to it I'm not a pushover. I watch with a very critical and careful eye."

Scherzinger will have a solo album out this fall, "Killer Love," that she calls "empowering, it's fun; it's sassy but I go a lot deeper than I did with Dolls."

"X Factor" host Steve Jones conserves electricity at home by keeping the lights low at home. "I don't open the fridge all the time because I know what's in there. I am green — you have to be," he believes. "It's our responsibility."

Jones had met with Simon Cowell four years ago for a job he was contractually unable to accept, "and two years ago he came back to me with this. I owe Simon everything," says the Welsh presenter, who has "been coming back and forth to L.A. [from London] for about eight years" and is happy to be spending more time in Hollywood. "The weather is just delightful. I can't complain." As for sharing a name with the famous Sex Pistols guitarist, "I think there's enough room for two Steve Joneses," he says, acknowledging that confusion is "the danger of having such a boring name. I could have used Stephen Ashton Jones, but I think it's too late for that."

"The X Factor" premieres on Fox on Sept. 21.

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