No one expected everyone to quit this fast (though nearly everyone saw it coming). A shocker even for show creator and producer Simon Cowell, well-known for his scathing criticism of both contestants and other judges. He’s a terror to work for (allegedly) but he also does have a soft spot for humanitarian charities like the Kids Wish Network and Help for Heroes. But did he ever extend kindness to his reality television show staff? Apparently not because he either fired almost all the cast or they quit en masse.
There seems to be a lot of fake rumors surrounding the talent show X Factor. You know, the one produced by Simon Cowell, executive talent scout and former American Idol judge? But the rumor mills have gotten one thing right: judge Paula Abdul, judge Nicole Scherzinger, and host Steve Jones will not be returning for a second season of the show. They have all confirmed they quit the show (or have been fired) following a poorer than expected viewership. Fellow judge L.A. Reid will be staying on to continue to be bossed around by the hyper-critical show creator.
It’s sad, really… because it was only a matter of time before the reality television competition had a major shake-up.
While there is a lot of talk of firing and hiring, some portion of the rumor remains unclear. It’s uncertain whether Simon Cowell fired the core staff to clean house or whether the stars quit the ailing show because they simply could not stand working with him anymore.
Here’s how it all went down.
- According to reps for Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and Dancing With The Stars Mirror Ball Trophy Winner, the star celeb is looking to get back to singing full-time. They say she has been making plans to do a European tour with her band and that the number of hours Cowell requires the judges to work simply did not allow her time to write music, travel with the group, or even rehearse. So, she confirmed she’s leaving the show — happily. She never said whether she was fired for her tearful breakdowns or quit.
- Steve Jones made his announcement about leaving X Factor on Monday. His note to the public on Twitter was shared prior to Simon Cowell’s official press release that the sexy show host would not be returning for a second hosting go around. The timing of his announcement came almost in tandem with Nicole’s admission she was leaving the show. Fans hope the pair have hooked up and are telling the show producer to go jump in a lake together — but it is more likely that Cowell ditched them both as weak links on the show.
- Paula Abdul quitting after one season is the biggest shocker of them all. She confirmed the news after realizing her friends Nicole Scherzinger and Steven Jones were both “officially” gone.
On the surface it looks like Abdul simply was afraid to be left alone with a furious boss, but she and Simon Cowell seem to maintain a strange fondness for one another. At least with what they say about one another to the press. But, she was the third to go — and the one most likely to have been the one to say, “I quit.” After all, she walked away from the cherry gig on American Idol in the years before. For that reason, no one could really figure out why she would want to work with him anymore.
Having been co-judges together on American Idol, Cowell tapped Paula Abdul (who was quick to step up to Unite for Japan, following the tsunami last year) personally to be a judge on X Factor. And he has said he’d like to continue to working with her, in spite of canning her, reported the New York Daily News.
“You do develop friendships with people you work with,” Cowell said in a statement, “and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend. I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future.”
Paula Abdul likewise confirmed the “just business” status of her departure, according to MSNBC:
I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.
What that means is really unclear. Did he fire her after she told him to take a flying leap or did she quit because the constant work demands of an over-taxing and megalomaniac boss really got her down?
The only other alternative — that she and all the others brought ratings down — seems unlikely. People getting sick of Simon, yes. But all three of the others? Really? It just does not seem to make any sense.
But an inside source has said that Paula Abdul wasn’t meeting expectations for her role on X Factor. Yep, according to TheWrap (it seems unlikely, but hey) she was dragging the ratings down.
And Nicole Scherzinger often confronted Cowell on camera and was criticized by Abdul as well. There are also rumor mills reports that Steve Jones has the hots for Paula but has been spending time lately getting to know the Pussycat Dolls singer more up close and personal that was allowed by contract.
Whether it was a mass firing or a mass exodus by the talent, Simon Cowell intends to grow his audience for the second season of the show, and word is the X Factor expects to make a hiring decision by April. RadarOnline has said reports exist suggesting Cowell wanted bigger name stars for the show’s judges to boost ratings.
As if anyone bigger would put their lives and career on hold to suffer abuse from him? My guess is he will need to pay someone with very low self-esteem a fortune to work for him. If no one is willing, my guess is he’ll have to fire himself or quit.
Do you think Simon Cowell can make it without Paula Abdul and company? Were they all fired or did they quit? Do you have a suggestion about who he should book to replace them? Let us know your thoughts!