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.”