Paula Abdul Confirms X Factor Ouster: 'Business Decisions Override Personal Considerations'

Paula Abdul has made it official: She will not be returning for the second season of The X Factor.

The former American Idol judge and now ex-X mentor just released a carefully worded, somewhat cryptic statement that pretty much confirms that she was let go and not the other way around.

Meanwhile, the show’s star and exec producer, Simon Cowell, is speaking out for the first time about Monday’s bloodbath, which — in addition to Abdul — claimed host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year,” said Cowell in a statement. “We had a lot of fun making the show together and importantly, we found some real talent and stars. 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. I’m sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next, but now is the time to thank them all for everything they did last year.”

In her own statement, Abdul said, “I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations.  Simon and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.  Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams.  This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”

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28 Comments
  1. collins says:

    uhmm, cheryl cole, that phone call you’ve been expecting is right around the corner…

  2. Gorm says:

    Why was the statement from Mike Darnell suddenly removed from this article? The problems with this turkey of a show rest at his feet. Its failure is his failure, it would be nice to have his bland statement added back in, so when the his history of this failure is written, his weak contribution and poor handling of the reins isnt overlooked.

    • Hugh says:

      Agree completely. It was his meddling in SimCow’s winning format that squashed the first season. Simon knows how to make a hit show, how to rule showbiz and how to make money. If Darnell had any foresight he would have just left Simon to it. Cheryl would still be on the panel, the first season would have gone better etc..

  3. Stacie says:

    Well Simon wanted Mariah Carey Now is the time. That would be fantastic if he can get her. Paula had credentials, but if Mariah came on that would be amazing.

  4. socalgal says:

    Nicole gone – no problem. Paula gone–um…OK. L.A. Reid – arrogant SOB and should be gone. Simon–please stop winking at 14 year olds.

  5. djm says:

    Paula was the reason I didn’t watch the show – and I can’t stand Nicole whatever her name is, so I for one am glad they are both gone – maybe next season I’ll give it a shot…

  6. Rolfe says:

    I’m really going to miss Paula. The reason why I watched The X Factor each week was to see her with Simon. Sad news. Hopefully we can get an amazing replacement that is not Mariah Carey. How about Kelly Rowland to replace Nicole, and Ellen to replace Steve?

    • Alejandro says:

      Are you trying to go from bad to worst? Ellen and kelly? Hell. No.

    • Lana says:

      I’m devestated about Paula, I can’t believe Simon didn’t want her again, I mean LA Reid should have been the other judge to cut, anybody along with Paula and Simon would have been great, but Reid who only knows rap and Simon ain’t that great. I’ll have to see what happens.

  7. John Berggren says:

    I think Paula was an asset. I think Sherzinger and Jones simply didn’t fit. If I’d been sitting in Simon’s chair, I’d probably have kept Paula a second year to see how different things would be with the other 2 gone.

  8. Sara says:

    Get rid of L.A ughhhh. I know he’s probably an asset to Simon but he’s such an asshat. Would have liked to see Nicole and L.A gone. I didn’t mind Steve Jones haha. Oh well.

  9. Rob R says:

    Only reason I grimaced through the show was to hear Natalie Amaro and also see Paula and Simon together again.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      Melanie Amarro? Agreed though. Paula is all kinds of loopy, but she managed to humanize Simon. No loss with Nicole and Steve though. And while LA is all kinds of arrogant, he has the cred to launch careers.

  10. Davey says:

    Can’t they get rid of LA Reid too? I stopped watching the show because I found him so off-putting.

  11. chantooz says:

    Wasn’t Cheryl Cole let go because of tension between her and Paula? Maybe letting Paula go is a sign that Simon wants Cheryl back. I hope he doesn’t bring in Mariah—I think she’d be an impossibly annoying diva (like Xtina on “The Voice”).

    • JJ says:

      There wasn’t any tension between Paula and Cheryl. They actually became friends and still communicate via Twitter with Paula sending Cheryl flowers. Cheryl got the boot because FOX had cold feet over her accent and not being known in the US.

    • Saulo says:

      The Voice is all about Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. Xtina is a great singer but she is not that likeable.

      And let’s be honest, guys… we all know why they invited Cee Lo to be on the show…

      .. it’s because every single time he dresses himself like a peacock he is doing merchandise for NBC. He is the network biggest apple-polisher.

  12. A says:

    Please explain why anyone would actually want Cheryl. She’s just another useless pop tart.

  13. Marcie says:

    Now I’m waiting for Simon to say, “I’ve made a massive mistake!” –about Paula.

  14. Essam says:

    Have heard whispers that Britney Spears has been approached. I think she would actually fit in somehow.

    • Sharon says:

      I don’t think Britney would be a bad choice. She has a huge fan base so I’m sure she could bring in the number of viewers Simon is looking for.

  15. Sharmoota says:

    omg if britney came! Xtina needs competition!

  16. PatD says:

    Steve was awkward, but he held promise. They should’ve given him another season to grow into the role, although I’m not surprised at either the Jones or Scherzinger firings. Those were both expected.

    But Paula??? That’s really a bit desperate, if you ask me. She was saddled with the worst category on the show (the groups), yet she was very clearly the most interactive of all the mentors. Personally, I think the only reason she was let go was because the show wasn’t the hit FOX expected, they probably cut the budget because sponsors weren’t as lucrative as expected, and they couldn’t afford her contract for the second season.

    Cowell was actively pursuing Mariah and wanted her badly for the show. Her pregnancy and untimely (for the show) delivery interfered with that. I think he always planned on bringing her in for the second season in Nicole’s spot, and now can’t afford her without letting Paula go.

    I expect to see Simon, L.A. (who I think has the most music cred on the show and a really good eye for talent. I don’t get all this hoopla about him being mean. He never insulted anyone and only spoke the truth. There’s no accounting for audience criticism. Half the time people want judges fired for being too nice, and the other half of the time they want them fired for being too critical. I think it’s a lazy, empty criticism either way), Mariah and two lesser, affordable names as the 4th judge and host.

    I’m signing off if Simon brings in Spears. For me, that’d be like bringing Kim Kardashian on. He’d really have jumped the shark if he does that.

  17. lob city says:

    how about bill maher, steven colbert or chris rock as a judge or host…the absolute king of snark…as polarizing as he is, simon just hired howard stern who was the epitome of controversy until he became one of america’s one percent…ellen was atrocious because she can’t sing and was worried about her image if she appeared mean..exactly what paula and especially nichole were awful judges…simon cowell became a superstar by publicly excoriating regular people while millions watched…the auditions are always a favorite as the masses gawk and the mentally and physically awkward…similar to howard stern who made a carreer out of mocking the easy targets in society…its good he supports animals thru charity now..the ultra wealthy use charity’s as write-offs and like to crow about their cause at gatherings just as they spend literally millions on “art” or collecting trophies…would have loved to see the howard stern of twenty years ago in any show…x-factor had such a bizarre dynamic going on as four milliaonaire’s “competed” and used regular people as pawns in a situation that i’m sure was unbelievably stressful…if it wasn’t stressful enough, they brought contestants to their mansions to flaunt their wealth…including a homeless man…fascinating and a parallel of the disconnect of the ultra wealthy with everyone else….they treated the contestants as possessions, genuinely concerned about their private meaningless competition between judges…by the way steve jones was the best part of the show because he was so bad at it…he was the sarah palin of judges…looked like the whole package on paper, obviously not vetted properly and someone provided hysterically inept gaffes….gaffes are entertaining….just ask the news networks that seize on any gaff and play it over and over….

  18. Rocco's Mom says:

    I watched season one, and I thought all the pagaentry was a little silly, but I generally enjoyed it. My favorite part was watching the interplay with Simon and Paula and I think letting her go was a big mistake. Nicole was OK but a little annoying and the host was totally lost. We always laughed about how he kept repeating “in no particular order” LOL. Those two could have gone, but Paula? I’m not sure I’ll be watching season two.