Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Did you hear the reports that Demi Lovato has decided not to return to The X Factor next season? You probably assumed that the pop singer and former Disney star was bailing out of that sinking ship. (Ratings for Season 3 were down 20% from last season, just when the show really needed them to go, uh, up.)
Ah, but when she confirmed the news, Lovato said the move was perfectly natural: "I started the show being a singer and a musician, and so I'm going to go back to that," Lovato told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's been really great, but I'm so excited for 2014. I'm going to dedicate it completely and entirely to music -- touring and making a new album. Possibly releasing one."
In May, Lovato's latest album, Demi, debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 Chart, and her song "Heart Attack" has been her fastest-selling single yet. Critics might not have loved it -- click here for a sampling of their reviews -- but there's no doubt that Lovato's spunky presence on The X Factor helped her career.
"When you have the opportunity to be in front of America every single week several times a week, that's a very incredible opportunity, not only because your fans get to know you better, but … I was on the Disney Channel forever, and was waiting for that right job that would help me cross over to the mainstream world," she told Billboard last spring. "I was not only in front of my fans every week, but I was also in front of adults. I never used to get recognized by adults, and now when I'm at the airport or the grocery store, the guy behind the register will be like, 'I love you on X Factor! It's really awesome to have expanded my fan base." We bet her guest appearances on Glee haven't hurt either.
But while that singing competition has heightened her visibility, her presence hasn't helped to prevent the show's decline. During the two seasons that Lovato's been with The X Factor, it's lost nearly half of the 12 million viewers it attracted in Season 1.
Clearly, Cowell hasn't hit on the right mix of personalities on the panel. New additions to Season 3, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, were proven commodities who'd come out of successful seasons of The X Factor, UK. But when they picked up the task on American soil, no one showed up to see them.
And yet, the show may still get renewed. Among other money-related reasons, "Factor is considered an ad-sales-friendly property," according to Entertainment Weekly.
Expect changes, though. "I might have a different kind of role," Cowell told reporters during a recent conference call.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.