Steve Jones Responds To Rumors He’s Leaving ‘X Factor’; Calls Nicole Scherzinger ‘Smokin’ Hot’

“The X Factor” host, Welshman Steve Jones, wasn’t pleased about the report on Monday (in a British tabloid) that he won’t be back on the FOX reality competition when it returns for a second season next year – especially because he said it’s not true.

“British tabloids, thank you very much for that. Merry Christmas, me,” he told Access Hollywood Live’s Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Tuesday in response to The Daily Mail’s claim that FOX executives have chosen not to renew his contract.

“There’s been no conversation with FOX or Fremantle and there won’t be until the New Year,” Steve continued. “But quite frankly, we’re 100 percent focused on making the best final possible for our viewers… I don’t want to pull focus back on to me. If I’m back, great, if I’m not, I’ll do something else. Simple as that.”

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If Steve does end up going the way of the Dunkleman (Brian Dunkleman, original co-host of “American Idol” in its first season, who didn’t return for its second), he admitted Nicole Scherzinger will have a new suitor.

“We’re colleagues and we’re good friends,” Steve told Billy and Kit 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!”

Right now, however, the only game is the one between the three “X Factor” finalists – Melanie Amaro, Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik.

“What I like about our final 3 contestants is they’re humble, they’re good people,” Steve said. “These [people] are actually role models and these are very, very good people. I’m so happy we’re about to hand one of them a $5 million recording contract.”

“The X Factor” final kicks off on Wednesday at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.

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