Nicole Scherzinger at The Grove in Los Angeles. (Nov. 17, 2011)

*Going in to tonight’s “X Factor” results show, Nicole Scherzinger has two strong contenders left in her “over 30” group – Leroy Bell and Josh Krajcik – that will likely survive America’s vote, which would be a testament not just to their talent, but to Nicole’s coaching as well.

In fact, it’s the mentoring part of the job that drew the former Pussycat Doll to the US version of the show after being part of the original British version. She was hired as a co-host with Steve Jones, but she found herself drifting out of her lane.

“I did the best that I could as a host but I was also mentoring on the side in the background because I could obviously empathize with these contestants, and they were looking at me for advice,” she tells EURweb. “So on the side I’m like doing some life coaching and mentoring, and they’re like, ‘Nicole, we gotta focus. We gotta ask these people questions.”

Scherzinger said she was relieved when executive producer Simon Cowell asked her to join himself, LA Reid and Paula Abdul on the judging panel of the US version. “I was really honored because that’s where I felt like I was a better fit. I could be of better service.”

Cowell went out of his way to give Scherzinger a rare part on the back for her mentoring of Bell and Krajcik during Tuesday’s Thanksgiving-themed performance show, which had the contestants paying musical homage to the people who inspired them. Bell sang Sarah MacLachlan’s “Angel” in honor of his late mother, while Krajcik belted the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” for his 13-year-old daughter. [Scroll down to watch both.].

Scherzinger says it’s not just the raw emotion from the contestants that attracted her. It also “feels real,” she said. “There’s nothing contrived or fake about it.”

Listen below.

Nicole Scherzinger on accepting the X Factor gig by CherieNic