simon cowell x factor 520 'X Factor': Simon Cowell blames FOX for Paula Abdul firing, debunks Beyonce, Mariah Carey rumorsSimon Cowell is finally talking about the late January bloodletting that saw the firing of Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones from “The X Factor.” And he’s passing the blame on Abdul’s departure right back onto FOX.

Cowell tells “Extra” that FOX execs told him to unload the judge, saying the word came down “at the beginning of the year– and we were told it had to happen straight away.”

“I would’ve liked to have kept her,” Cowell adds. “She was very gracious and I said that to her…She understands it’s business; it’s never personal.”

As for Scherzinger’s departure, a move that seemed obvious to many, Cowell says, “I don’t think she’s mad. I think she’s disappointed.”

Cowell also dismissed rumors about Beyonce or Mariah Carey joining the show and certainly not at the $100 million per season price tag that has been thrown about.

“I have no idea where this rumor [about Beyonce] came from. I read it online that I offered her $100 million a year. It’s complete nonsense,” Cowell says. “It would never, ever, ever happen.”

And as for Carey, Cowell says he would like to have her “but you can’t expect someone who’s just had two kids to make the kind of commitment you would need on this show.”

Posted by:David Eckstein