She also had a hand in shaping the careers of Rebecca Fergurson and Cher Lloyd, who starred in her category in 2010, one of the biggest years ever for X Factor.
After a brief return to the show in 2016, Cheryl is now on a new judging panel, alongside Strictly star Oti Mabuse and Glee’s Matthew Morrison, as a mentor on BBC 1’s Simon Cowell-produced show, The Greatest Dancer.
But the Call My Name singer has explained that her new role as a mentor means the show is far less competitive than the X Factor.
“I always felt like I was a mentor to my acts anyway, on the X Factor,” Cheryl explained to RadioTimes.com and other publications at The Greatest Dancer press day. “I was definitely more than a mentor as a judge.
“But [on the X Factor] there was definitely more of a competitive nature among us as judges. Probably because Simon was sat there.”
Cheryl added the huge prize at stake on the X Factor is what piled on the pressure on making sure her acts got to the final.
As opposed to the million pound record deal the X Factor winner lands, The Greatest Dancer prize is a little more understated: £50,000 and an opportunity to perform one night on Strictly.
“In the end, someone was winning like a massive contract and you felt responsible for their career,” she continued. “This show, you’re helping them to win £50,000, which is awesome, and to perform on Strictly. You’re giving and giving and giving, you’re not trying to create a career out of it. Hopefully a platform, but not a career. It just feels different.
“It’s a different vibe. Dance creates a different vibe.”
The Greatest Dancer: Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Cheryl (BBC/Syco/Thames)
There’s a definite chemistry between Cheryl, Mabuse and Morrison, who jokingly referred to themselves as “the sisterhood” throughout the interview.
But in spite of there being less of a competitive element, each mentor is equally passionate about the acts that appear on the show, with Morrison “arguing” with Cheryl.
“You and I, Cheryl, we were fighting a lot,” he said. “I think we really believe in our acts.”
The Greatest Dancer starts Saturday 5th January at 8pm on BBC 1
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