New X Factor judge Cheryl Cole said she would have sent auditionee Nikk Mager through to boot camp – if she hadn’t walked off the judging panel.

Cheryl was initially shocked when Nikk walked in to audition, because he was a losing finalist on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, the show that brought together her hit girl group Girls Aloud. While her career has reached the stratosphere, his never left the ground.

Nikk sang Bette Midler’s song The Rose, but after Cheryl dismissed herself from the judging panel, the other three judges rejected him, saying his voice wasn’t strong enough for the competition.

Simon Cowell told him: “It’s time to stop chasing the dream. Do something you’ll be happy in and not frustrated… you haven’t got the voice and I don’t think you ever will.”

Harsh words, but in a heartbreaking scene Cheryl comforted the shattered 24-year-old.

And she told that if it was up to her she would have sent him through to boot camp.

VIDEO: Click here to watch Cheryl Cole discuss meeting Nikk on The X Factor

Or click below to watch the clip on YouTube.