Nicole Scherzinger has said that she is “ecstatic” to have joined the panel of the US X Factor as a replacement for Cheryl Cole.

Speaking at the auditions in New Jersey, the Pussycat Dolls star said, “I wanted to be part of the show. I love the show, I believed in the show, I believe in Simon.”

“When they proposed the idea of me being a judge, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. I absolutely think the dynamic is working and this is a new chapter in my life and I’m so grateful.”

Nicole also admitted during Friday’s Graham Norton Show that she had had no idea of events behind the scenes on the show which led to Cheryl Cole’s departure.

The singer was originally set to co-host the show alongside Steve Jones, but said being promoted to judge came as something of a surprise.

“It’s an amazing opportunity. I’m kind of finding out along with everyone else,” she said. “It’s kind of crazy to read about it in the newspaper first.”

Meanwhile Cheryl Cole has said that she is “better off” without Simon Cowell and The X Factor in her life.

According to the News Of The World the Girls Aloud singer told friends, “I’m actually really happy NOT to be on the show now. It was definitely the right decision for me.

“I was so badly mucked around by Simon and everyone involved. I don’t want that in my life any more. I’m better off without it.

“I’ll make my own decisions now and not have to be dependent on someone else. I’ve moved on.”

And the paper reports that the singer has plans to disappear from the spotlight for a while – although her manager Will.I.Am said she has had nos shortage of offers.

“TV shows all over the world want to sign her as well, of course. The BBC and Channel 4 want her and of course ITV want her back. But her focus has always been on music.”