Music and TV mogul Simon Cowell has confirmed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger will not be returning as star judges on the new season of The X Factor.
On Monday, host Steve Jones became the first to be dropped from the U.S. version of the programme ahead of its second season, while it was rumoured singers Abdul and Scherzinger would also be axed.
The two stars, who sat on the judging panel alongside Cowell and Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, confirmed the news of their exit on Tuesday (31Jan12).
In a Twitter.com post, Scherzinger wrote, “I wanted to let you know directly from me that it’s true I won’t be returning to The X Factor. Looking forward to an exciting year ahead and making great music and more! I’m grateful for the love you always give me.”
And in a statement, Abdul insisted she bears no ill will towards her old pal Cowell.
She wrote, “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 (network) Fox and (production company) 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.”
Meanwhile, Cowell has expressed his gratitude to the three departing stars, stating: “I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of the X Factor last year. 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.”