X Factor host Dermot O’Leary thinks the show would be “poorer” if Nicole Scherzinger left.
The current series of the ITV show concludes this weekend and there’s already been talk of next year’s series.
There have been some rumours that Nicole might not be back – but Dermot thinks that would harm the show.
He said: “I don’t want Nicole to go.
“She has the best voice in the competition so all the contestants defer to her. She’s a brilliant judge and the panel would be poorer without her.”
Nicole herself spoke out this week to play down rumours of her exit.
Speaking ahead of the final, she said: “I’m so excited but I’m also sad because I love it and I’ve loved working with my contestants. I feel like I blinked my eyes and it’s almost over.
“I think it’s probably in the bag that I’m going to be back next year, I love my job and I love my X Factor family.”
She told OK! Magazine: “We’ve had a lot of fun this year. And I love the UK, it would feel weird for me not to be back here. It’s my other home.”
It was claimed earlier in 2017 that Cheryl was being lined up for what would be her third stint behind the judges’ desk next autumn.
Cheryl first joined the show in 2008 before leaving in 2011 for the American version. The new mum then returned in 2014 before departing again last year.
A source told The Sun newspaper earlier this month that Cheryl was already in talks to sign a £1.5 million deal.
“It looks like Cheryl will be back next year. Simon knows Nicole is likely to leave and he wants a big name, and some much-needed glamour on the panel,” the insider explained. “He knows he will get that with Cheryl and she would be a really popular signing and a huge hit.”
For now, The X Factor 2017 continues this Saturday and Sunday night on ITV.
One of Grace Davies, Rak-Su or Kevin Davy White will be crowned the winner.