Nikki Bella was “super intimidated” by Simon Cowell when she went to meet him for the first time.
The former WWE star turned to “meditation music” to calm her nerves as she headed to filming for ‘America’s Got Talent: Extreme’ to join him on the judging panel alongside professional stunt performer Travis Pastrana.
She told PEOPLE magazine: “I remember I was on the car ride over, just super intimidated.
“I’m listening to meditation music because I’m going in as a judge for the first time next to Simon.
“I just wanted to give my best, give my all. From the moment that I met him, he was so down to earth and humble and gave Travis and me amazing advice, he was very inviting.”
The ‘Total Bellas’ star admitted she was pleasantly surprised by the 62-year-old media mogul and how different he was from his Mr. Nasty reputation as a judge.
She added: “I wasn’t expecting that. I was just shocked in a way. I got so comfortable and I was like, ‘All right, let’s do this.’ But it was from the first moment I met Simon.
“He’s so conversational and just not what I thought. The one thing that I’ve realized about Simon is, even when his judging is harsh, he truly appreciates everyone’s, not only their talent, but their bravery of getting on that stage.
“Whether that’s the home show, ‘AGT’, or our show, ‘AGT: Extreme’, you could just tell he truly, really appreciates everyone coming on that stage and giving their all.”
Nikki, 38, also revealed she’s had “instant chemistry” on screen with her fellow judges and the spin-off show’s host Terry Crews.
She said: “I’m not going to lie, at first I was very intimidated. Then it was like instant chemistry with them and [host] Terry Crews on top of it, I learned a lot.
“I laughed a lot. I even cried. But it was an amazing time and it was really neat to go through.
“I mean, Travis is a king of extreme, and there’s no more iconic judge than Simon Cowell.”
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.