Paula Abdul confirms 'X Factor' firing

Jan. 31, 2012 at 3:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Paula Abdul confirmed Tuesday she has been fired from the American version of the British talent competition series "The X Factor."

"Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to 'The X Factor' next season," Abdul said in a statement issued to People.com.

"I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations," she said. "Simon [Cowell] and I, along with Fox and Freemantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation."

Fox earlier confirmed "X Factor" host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger won't be back for the U.S. show's sophomore season.

Cowell, who previously worked with Abdul on "American Idol," is a producer on "X Factor" and also serves as a judge along with music producer L.A. Reid. Cowell confirmed the firings but didn't give a reason for them.

"I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of 'The X Factor' last year," People.com quoted Cowell as saying in a statement Tuesday. "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 near future."

The Hollywood Reporter said the recent casting decisions were made at a secret meeting in England intended to work out a strategy to improve the show's ratings.

"American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe remarked on Abdul's ousting via Twitter.

"Shocked to see Simon has fired Paula Abdul, Nicole and Steve from the X-Factor," Lythgoe tweeted.

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