By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Brave Face: Nicole smiles after receiving Simon's joke T-shirt in Seattle today
It should have been the icing on the cake but instead Simon Cowell's birthday surprise for Nicole Scherzinger took the biscuit.
The sardonic talent show don waited until the last minute of the second day of Seattle auditions to give his fellow judge her treats.
Today she turned 33, and was apparently so keen to celebrate the milestone with her new colleagues that she's issued constant reminders.
The Pussycat Doll even emailed Simon last night, lest he forget.
She needn't have worried, as the irascible judge was planning to have his fun with her.
After flowers from L.A Reid and a 500-strong rendition of Happy Birthday from the audience led by Paula Abdul, not to mention plenty of teasing from Simon, he finally handed over his 'gifts.'
First up was cake with a picture of him on it and just one candle, he then followed it up with a T-shirt also featuring his visage, with the additional detail 'I heart' detail on it.
Nicole smiled broadly as she held up the joke garment, but it seemed she was expecting something more from the billionaire.
Destroyed: The image of Simon was defiled on the birthday cake
So perhaps the state of the cake, which was photographed and uploaded to Simon's Facebook account, betrayed her real feelings.
The image had been roundly defiled, all in the name of fun, we're sure.
An insider confirmed that she was disappointed: 'I think Nicole might have been expecting something fancy.
'Simon’s face on a cake and T Shirt probably wasn’t exactly it, but no doubt she will get her own back when his birthday comes around!'
But Nicole still got quite a fuss, nonetheless.
No less than four groups asked to sing special versions of Happy Birthday in their bids to impress her.
Birthday Girl: Nicole enjoyed an epic rendition of Happy Birthday today, led by fellow judges - including Paula Abdul
It was an emotional day for the newest member of the panel, who admitted she's still getting her head around her fantastic new job.
The singer, who was wearing a stunning silver mini-dress and had her hair swept up on her head, said: 'I am so excited, I woke up this morning and its my birthday, I have an amazing job working with three of the most wonderful people in the world that I have ever met... '
Before joking: 'Well two actually – and then there’s Simon too!'
Smug: Simon secretly contemplates his cunning plan
She reserved extra praise for Paula Abdul, Scherzinger gushed: 'She is my idol and she wished me happy birthday today! '
'And now I get to sit next to her, and stare at her in a kinda creepy way, I think, and just because I just love her so much'
One insider said: 'Nicole has been reminding everyone for weeks that her birthday is coming up and she even emailed Simon last night to remind him so he wouldn’t forget when he arrived at work today, she as so cute'
But it was L.A. Reid who welcomed her with a big bunch of flowers, while Simon is keeping his big surprise under wraps.
Today is Scherzinger's actual birthday but she already started celebrating in earnest at the weekend in Vegas.
Serenade: Nicole thanks the crowd for birthday song
The beauty, who is dating F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, enjoyed a daytime event and then partied the night away at TAO Nightclub at the Venetian hotel.
For the evening event she looked stunning in a glittering mini dress which she paired with taupe shoes and bag.
Her long raven hair in soft curls which cascaded over her shoulders.
In the day, Scherzinger was presented with an an amazing five-tiered cake decorated in gold and pink with her name in glittering letters perched on the side.
The cake was covered in musical symbols, a microphone and the second tier even featured a corset
But it probably could've benefited from Simon's face.
Celebrate: The birthday girl got started at the weekend in Vegas