|Paula and Simon in happier times|
Looks like Simon Cowell is cleaning house. News broke eariler that host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger will not return to the second season of the Cowell-controlled "The X Factor," the okay-rated singing competition. Now it looks like Paula Abdul can be added to the list of those who will be lining up for an unemployment check.
TMZ says Abdul received her notice from a lawyer, and hasn't heard from Cowell yet. Cowell personally recruited the kooky former pop star in a bid to recreate their former "American Idol" magic. Cold, Simon.
Despite Scherzinger's claims that she wanted to focus on her music rather than sit on the "X" panel, Deadline begs to differ. Nikki Finke wrote, "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."
The recent firings leaves L.A. Reid as the only returning for judge for season two. This isn't the first employee shake-up "The X Factor" has faced in its short lifespan. Cheryl Cole was originally supposed to sit on the judges' table but was replaced by erstwhile Pussycat Doll Scherzinger. The Brit pop princess is reportedly sticking it to her former by debuting her new single on NBC's "The Voice," rather than "The X Factor."
What do you think of the recent bloodletting? Will there be a Simon backlash or will viewers keep tuning in? Or is this shake-up a lost cause? With "American Idol" slipping from its seeminlgly untouchable pedestal, maybe we're just sick of singing competitions in general?
UPDATE: Abdul just released a statement about her "X Factor" exit:
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. 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. 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.