Host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger have both parted ways with “The X Factor,” Access Hollywood has confirmed. Additionally, according to Deadline, Paula Abdul is also out.
A rep for FOX, the network behind Simon Cowell’s reality singing competition, confirmed Steve and Nicole’s departures to Access on Monday evening. The rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Paula report, later in the night.
Steve Jones was first to break the news himself, Tweeting on Monday, “I wont be hosting next seasons XFactor which is a shame but I cant complain as I’ve had a great time. Good luck to everyone on the show.”
A source told E! News, which first reported Nicole’s departure, that she wanted to concentrate on her career.
“She wants to focus on her music career,” a source told E! News. “She’s spoken to Simon [Cowell] and he’s given her his blessing.”
Back in December, reports first surfaced in the British tabloids that “The X Factor” would continue its second season without Steve.
Appearing on Access Hollywood Live as the rumors first hit the news, the host said if he did leave – it could open the door to romance with his then co-star, Nicole.
“We’re colleagues and we’re good friends,” Steve told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover when asked why he hasn’t pursued the single singer, whom he said was, “smokin’ hot.” “If I ever leave ‘X Factor,’ Scherzinger’s phone will be smoking hot from me ringing it constantly ‘cause if we’re not colleagues – oh, she’s fair game. Oh yeah!”