Simon Cowell's X Factor prank

Simon Cowell pulled a prank on guest judge Nicole Scherzinger by telling her to call contestants she was impressed with ''tools''

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BGT judge Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell teased 'X Factor' guest judge Nicole Scherzinger by making her call contestants "tools".

The music mogul - who heads up the judging panel of the reality singing show - decided to play a prank on the Pussycat Dolls singer when she appeared on the show for the Manchester auditions, and told her the insult was actually a compliment.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Simon loved winding Nicole up. Even though she has a British boyfriend she had never heard the phrase before.

"Simon eventually had to step in when she kept using it about people she liked."

The 32-year-old singer temporarily replace Dannii Minogue on the panel - who is currently on maternity leave, after giving birth to her new son Ethan - and was joined by Simon and Irish band manager Louis Walsh. The fourth judge, Cheryl Cole, is currently taking time off from the show as she battles malaria in hospital.

However, it appears Nicole made a huge impression on the panel - with Simon claiming Louis had a "crush" on her.

He told the audience: "Louis hasn't smiled like this for a long time. He's like a lamb on a spring day - I have never seen him like this. He is so soft on her. It's very sweet, but it's the first time anyone has known Louis with a crush like this."

Simon had an embarrassing incident of his own when a contestant jumped off the stage, kissed him and proposed to him.

Meanwhile, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears has revealed he would love to step up to and replace Cheryl on the show while she's recovering from the tropical disease.

He said: "I would be happy and very excited to appear on one of Simon Cowell's shows. I think I'd have a good time. I'd definitely be enthusiastic.

"I think it's a really wonderful thing. There's a lot of people who just think they're game shows but people develop amazing careers out of shows like 'X Factor', 'Pop Idol' and 'American Idol'."

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