After the bloodletting at “The X Factor” on Monday (Jan. 30) that resulted in the ousting of host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger, rumors were swirling that Paula Abdul was next to go. And now those questions have been confirmed and Abdul is gone from the singing competition.
In a statement Abdul says, “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 [Cowell] and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.”
While the departures of Jones and Scherzinger were not unexpected,
Abdul’s ousting came as a surprise to many. She has a long history with
Cowell, dating back to Season 1 of “American Idol.” And they seemed to
maintain the same on-screen chemistry on “The X Factor.” But ratings for the much-hyped series lagged, delivering
ratings well below “Idol,” and they barely eked out a victory over NBC’s “The Voice” in total viewers.
Cowell also commented on the upheaval. In a statement, he 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.”
Unlike Scherzinger and Jones, who hinted after the show’s Season 1 finale that they might leave the show, Abdul made no such mention. During the post-show press conference, she was already discussing potential modifications to the series when it returns for Season 2. But it appears she won’t get that chance.