And then there were two! Another talent show venture has gone belly-up for ’80s pop star and acclaimed dance-master Paula Abdul.
On Tuesday afternoon, Paula issued a statement confirming that she is the latest casualty of The X Factor casting shakeup. Earlier this week, Fox confirmed that Welsh host Steve Jones and Pussycat Doll-turned-talent show judge Nicole Scherzinger would not be returning for a second season of X Factor when the show hits the airwaves again in September.
“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season. I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation. Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”
The former American Idol pundit was handpicked by pal Simon Cowell to share her expertise on the judges’ panel after her CBS dance reality series, Live to Dance, died on arrival last year.
According to Deadline Hollywood, the “Forever Your Girl” singer is not leaving the singing competition of her own volition. Insiders say the move to dismiss Paula, Nicole and Steve was done in an effort to improve ratings.
Despite enjoying consistent viewership, The X Factor has failed to duplicate the popularity of American Idol — the longrunning singing smash Cowell left to import X Factor from the U.K. to the U.S. The X Factor currently averages about 12.4 million viewers a week, compared with the 22 million eyeballs per episode that typically tune in for Idol.
“…None of the three left on their own accord and that it was cleaning house day at the so-so rated reality series…”
Simon hasn’t explained the reason behind the casting brouhaha, but he’s released a press release thanking his former co-workers for the dedication. Simon says:
“I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year. We had a lot of fun making the show together and importantly, we found some real talent and stars. You do develop friendships with the people you work with and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future. I’m sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next, but now is the time to thank them all for everything they did last year.”
As of now, the only judges left from the show’s first season are Cowell, the show’s creator, and L.A. Reid.