Monday three of the five X Factor personalities got the AX! Paula Abdul, Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger were fired, only LA Reid and Simon Cowell remain. Paula confirmed the news on Tuesday. "Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season," she said in a statement. She did say that the split was "amicable" and she still considers X Factor executive producer, Simon Cowell, "a dear friend".
Simon Cowell released his own statement about the firings, saying, "I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole, and Steve for being a part of The X Factor last year." He added, "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 new future."
While X Factor was a modest hit for Fox, it didn't do nearly as well as Cowell predicted it would in the press. It was also one of the most expensive productions on TV so changes had to be made or the show would be in danger of meeting the chopping block. According to the Hollywood Reporter the decision to fire the two judges and show host came after Simon Cowell called a meeting with his team to figure out what went wrong during season one. According to sources, in this meeting Abdul was deemed "irrelevant to the mix," especially since most of her contestants were booted early in the competition. Reports claim that even though Cowell personally recruited Paula for the show, he did not call her personally to tell her she'd been let go.
No word on who will replace the trio, although insiders say Cowell wants a bigger celebrity on the panel next season.