The Pussycat Dolls star put the vote to deadlock when asked to axe either Crow or Marcus Canty on Thursday's (December 8) show, resulting in the 13-year-old being sent home for having polled the fewest public votes.
Scherzinger was said by Simon Cowell to be "devastated" by her decision, while reports claimed that the singer spent 30 minutes crying "hysterically" after Crow's exit.
Explaining her vote for Crow, Scherzinger confessed that she believed the teenager would have gotten more support that Canty and would therefore be safe.
"I wasn't going to be the one to send anyone home," she told People. "Did I think America probably would have chosen Rachel?... The probability was that they would have sent Marcus home.
"[But] when I saw that look on her face, [I felt] that I let her down, like I dropped her. I could have been holding on and I dropped her. She is the sunshine of our show, so it's hard to see her cry."
Scherzinger said that she apologised to Crow for her decision, but insisted that her heart had been in "the right place" when she gave Canty a lifeline.
"I get really sensitive when people are negative," she said. "I'm like, 'Don't they know I only want the best for every single person?' ... I want them to be the best they can be. Ultimately America made the choice."
Crow has said that she doesn't hold Scherzinger responsible for her elimination, adding that it was "just what God had in store for me".
> X Factor Rachel Crow on "heartbreaking" exit, Nicole Scherzinger, more
Watch Rachel Crow sing for survival on The X Factor below: