Nicole Scherzinger is constantly reinventing herself. From her successful start in ‘00s girl groups like Eden’s Crush and The Pussycat Dolls to a hit solo career to her critically acclaimed theater work in Cats on London’s West End—and much more in between—the Hawaiian-born multi-hyphenate is a versatile artist. Now, Scherzinger is bringing her talents to NBC’s variety show, I Can Do That. The program, which airs on Tuesday nights (10 p.m.), pits Scherzinger against five other contestants for weekly competitions where anything—from crossbow shooting to acrobatics—is possible.
We chat with Scherzinger to find out more about the show, what she thinks she can’t do, and where we might see her next.
Your new show, I Can Do That,is all about testing your limits and seeing what you can do. What is something that you think you absolutely could not do? NICOLE SCHERZINGER: Oh my god, I don’t know! I don’t think that way. I have not thought like that. I feel like if you put your mind to it, you can try anything. Okay, I could not eat live insects. Or something random, like a lamb’s brain.
Unlike other shows such as Dancing With the Stars, I Can Do That doesn’t eliminate its contestants. How do you think that adds to the competitive edge? NS: Well, it’s just like more of a friendly competition, but it doesn’t matter for me. Even though you don’t get eliminated, I think everybody is still very competitive, but more competitive with themselves. I’m the most competitive with myself. I always think, “If it’s not going to be great or the best, then why do it?” And it can always be better, so that’s my frame of mind. So I’m just a naturally, extremely competitive person.
There are guest stars on the show. Are there any hints about who’s coming up? NS: You just have to stay tuned, because we’ve got some surprises, some unexpected things. It’s a whole variety of acts and performances—everything from song to dance to magic to danger.
You’ve been on the other side of a competitive reality show when you were a judge on the X Factor. How do you think that helps you as a contestant on I Can Do That? NS: Other than being able to critique the other contestants, nothing really prepares you for a show like this. You’re not being a judge and just sitting down, you’re actually interacting, you’re actually doing the challenges yourself. And you never know each week what challenge you’ll be faced with, and you never know who your partner is going to be, so nothing prepares you for this.
How did your work with girl groups like The Pussycat Dolls and Eden’s Crush affect your success down the line? NS: Well, I think everything is just a new chapter. I think that Eden’s Crush, coming into this business, it really helped to prepare me to take on the lead role of The Pussycat Dolls. And then with the Dolls, I learned so much from being thrown into one of the biggest girl groups at the time and going on world tours. It really helped to round me out and shape me as an artist, to know what I like, what I don’t like, what I want, what I don’t want, and then it gave me the confidence to go off and to do my own thing and to have artistic freedom and that liberation.
You’ve done a lot of different work—theater, girl groups, solo acts, TV shows. What is one medium that you want to try next? NS: A world tour is a number one dream of mine, but to do some films would be amazing. Films, and even a movie musical or something.