X Factor Shakeup
(CNN) — After a number of outlets whispered that Paula Abdul is parting ways with the “X Factor” after only one season, the judge/mentor is confirming the news herself.
“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,” Abdul says in a statement. “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.”
Abdul, who previously worked with Cowell on Fox’s other reality competition, “American Idol,” says that the tough Brit judge “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.”
Mike Darnell, the president of alternative entertainment for Fox, chimed in with a statement of his own, calling Abdul a “remarkable talent.”
“We love Paula…and we appreciate all of her contributions,” he said. “We’re lucky that she is a part of the Fox family, and we look forward to working with her again soon.”
Abdul isn’t the only one leaving, of course: Fox confirmed on Monday that neither host Steve Jones nor mentor/judge Nicole Scherzinger will return for a second season, either.
Jones remarked via Twitter Monday that it’s “a shame” that he won’t be hosting “X Factor” next season, but added that he couldn’t complain because he’s had a great time doing it. For her part, Scherzinger’s said that she plans to focus on her music career.
“Looking forward to an exciting year ahead and making great music and more!” she tweeted on Tuesday. “I’m grateful for the love you always give me.”
And Cowell? He’d like to offer his former colleagues a “massive thank you” for their efforts.
He says in a statement, “We had a lot of fun making the show together, and importantly, we found some real talent and stars.” Friendships were made, and “Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future,” Cowell says. “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.”