Tulisa Contostavlos revealed how she’s had the ultimate seal of approval in her judging role… from Cheryl Cole.
She feared the public and Cheryl would hate her for taking her seat on the panel, but was thrilled when the former judge texted at the end of the first show: “Congratulations – you did great.”
Tulisa, 23, says: “I could have become Britain’s most hated woman for replacing Cheryl, but having her support has made all the difference.
“I also spoke to her when I was offered the job. I’d have been worried if I hadn’t checked she was OK with me being in her seat. She felt the same and actually contacted me first to make sure I wasn’t worried. Cheryl told me there was no bitterness between us and to go for it.
“She said she didn’t come back because she wanted a break and time for herself. That made me feel a lot more relaxed about taking the role. It doesn’t feel like I’m just filling in for her.”
Tulisa says the first show as a judge with Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, and Kelly Rowland was the most nerve-racking night of her life.
But Cheryl, who left X Factor to become a judge on the US version before being sensationally axed by Simon Cowell, was supporting her all the way.
“Cheryl saw the show on Saturday and sent a text saying: ‘Congratulations for your first show. You’ve got a great response from everyone and you did great.’ She’s been so supportive and that’s helped me a lot,” says Tulisa.
In her first X Factor interview, the gritty N-Dubz star also condemned the recent rioting and attacked Prime Minister David Cameron for failing young people.
She also talked for the first time about her love for her boyfriend, bandmate Fazer, and how she couldn’t do the show without him. But she said viewers will see her have an emotional breakdown when the pressure becomes too much.
“The last thing I thought was that I’d be crying on national TV,” she says. “It happened early in the auditions and it wasn’t just a Cheryl tear. We’re talking floodgates. I couldn’t stop.
“This one person performed and all the emotions built up. It was overwhelming – they really got me, then there was the realisation I was actually doing the X Factor, that my life had changed, and it all came out.”
Stay classy Cheryl! How sweet is this? Love Tulisa.