The former Pussycat Doll has chosen teenagers Abi Alton, Tamera Foster and Hannah Barrett as her three acts for the live shows, which kick off this weekend on ITV.
Chatting on ITV's Daybreak this morning, she said: "I have the strongest category, I feel. You saw the six people I had to choose from. They were all really strong. I have the best right here. I'm coming in with some strong contenders."
Nicole won last year's X Factor with singer-songwriter James Arthur. Her other finalist, Jahmene Douglas, came second. Clearly she has a lot to live up to this year!
The 'Boomerang' singer added that despite the emotional judges' houses, she's having a great time on the competition this year, partly thanks to returning judge Sharon Osbourne.
"It just feels really good. Mrs O has such an amazing energy. She's so free and out there. She says a lot of things you guys don't hear at home! We have a great chemistry on the panel and I've been having a blast on the show."
X Factor's first live show will air this Saturday night (12 October). It's already been confirmed it will have a 1980s theme and will introduce a new concept for 2013: the Flash Vote.
Once every contestant has performed, voting lines will open for under ten minutes, giving viewers the opportunity to save their favourite act from the bottom two. After voting lines have closed, the contestant with the lowest number of votes will be revealed and told that they face the sing-off the next night.
Watch a promo for the first live show below:
Check out the top twelve acts for the live shows after their glam makeovers:
Copyright: Nicky Johnston/Thames/Syco