BREAKING… EXCLUSIVE: Today at The X Factor there was a bloodbath which just claimed its biggest name. Not only are host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger exiting from the Fox show, but now a Simon Cowell insider just told me that his longtime friend and American Idol colleague Paula Abdul won’t be returning as an X Factor judge next season. I understand from sources that none of the three left on their own accord and that it was cleaning house day at the so-so rated reality series. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any backlash against Simon because of Paula’s popularity.
Last April I revealed exclusively that Cowell, in addition to himself and ”L.A.” Reid, had made up his mind to bring back Paula beside him for X Factor‘s premiere season. “I missed her the second she left (Idol),” Cowell told me at the time. “Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. I don’t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she’s right. I’ve never found anyone better than her.” It took several months for her contract to be pinned down as she famously held out for more money, only closing her deal hours before the first televised audition. But Abdul added star power to the judging panel as she was the most famous person on the show behind only Cowell.
Earlier tonight, Fox confirmed the departures of both Scherzinger as a judge and Jones as host. The two, originally paired as co-hosts, had been considered the weakest links and likely casualties going into Season 2 after receiving mostly negative reviews for their performances last season. But my news that Abdul is out as well comes as a surprise given her long history with Cowell. With Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones gone, Cowell and L.A. Reid remain the only X Factor personalities from Season 1 to make it to Season 2. Cowell hinted at a major shakeup on the show last month when he was quoted as saying “We change these shows all the time.” Especially after The X Factor failed to live up to Cowell’s own expectations. He famously predicted an average audience of 20 million for the series’ first season. But in actuality, it drew 12.4 million. This are not the first cast changes on The X Factor. Original judge Cheryl Cole was let go after one taping, replaced by Scherzinger. Later on, Scherzinger and Abdul became embroiled in the controversy surrounding the shocking elimination of frontrunner Rachel Crow.
UPDATE: Well, it didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. Shortly after it confirmed Steve Jones’ departure as host, Fox also confirmed the departure of Nicole Scherzinger as a judge. The two, originally paired as co-hosts, had been … Read More »
UPDATE: A rep for Jones called the Daily Mirror story “a fabrication.” “There have been absolutely no conversations about Steve Jones Leaving The X Factor,” the rep said. “Steve is very happy with the outcome of this season … Read More »
‘X FACTOR’S DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA: Nicole Scherzinger Didn’t Want Corbin Bleu As Co-Host; Now Steve Jones Done Deal As Replacement
Multi-talented performer and chart-topping artist Nicole Scherzinger and British TV personality Steve Jones will host THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Scherzinger, who recently served as a guest judge on the U.K. version of “The X Factor,” is a singer, songwriter and performer and Jones began his career as a fashion model and has gone on to host some of the U.K.’s biggest TV shows.
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EXCLUSIVE: Simon Cowell sure knows how to turn up the behind-the-scenes drama on TV shows, whether he’s appearing on them or producing them. I’ve just learned that Paula Abdul has been asked to show up for the judges panel for his U.S. version of The X Factor in Los Angeles on Sunday. But here’s the thing: I’m told her deal still isn’t done yet but is in “final negotiations.” Reps are working all day and probably all night to get it done before tomorrow’s 1 PM and 6 PM tapings of auditions with wannabe contestants when the full judgespanel assembles for the first time at USC’s Galen Center. But Simon Cowell is counting on his former American Idol sidekick to show up anyway because, hey, they’re friends. ”But will she really show up? No way her reps will let her go if that deal isn’t done,” an insider just told me. The sticking point at first was that CBS still had a hold on Abdul stemming from her deal to headline another TV talent series as lead judge, Live to Dance, which debuted in January 2011 only to be canceled after one season. CBS wasn’t letting Paula go to Fox at first. That now seems to have been ironed out, but there still are several deal points to finalize. “She’s been asked to show up tomorrow whether her deal is done or not,” an insider explained to me.
Meanwhile, there’s also been behind-the-scenes drama regarding picking the hosts for The X Factor. Read More »