Photo Credit: Barry King/FilmMagic
Fox's hit reality competition The X Factor is undergoing some major changes! On Monday, host Steve Jones confirmed that he was indeed leaving the show. And now sources are buzzing that judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger are also saying their goodbyes. If the news is true, that leaves series impresario Simon Cowell and fellow music producer L.A. Reid as the only original cast members to continue on for season 2.
Rumors of Steve Jones' exit had been swirling for weeks before the Welsh star finally made a low-key announcement of departure via Twitter on Monday evening.
"I won't be hosting next seasons X Factor, which is a shame but I can't complain as I've had a great time," he confirmed. "Good luck to everyone on the show."
Jones gave no further comment or explanations for his exit. Then sources began to say that Scherzinger's contract was also not renewed -- although a source made it seem like the decision was hers.
"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."
Scherzinger's departure isn't a huge surprise, considering she often found it quite difficult to be a judge.
"It breaks my heart and that's why I'm crying, too," she told E! News after fan favorite Drew Ryniewicz was cut last season. "I'm not a judge first -- I'm an artist first. I've been there. I know what it's like."
The big shocker, however, was that Cowell's fellow American Idol alum and supposed good friend Abdul is also reportedly being pink-slipped from the series.
So is this a publicity stunt, or will the Fox series have a mostly new set of faces next season? Apparently Cowell has plans for the show that don't include Jones, Scherzinger or Abdul.
"Simon wants to take the show in a different direction," the insider says.
What do you think of all the changes? Will The X Factor be the same if it loses three-fifths of the original cast?