It's Official: Britney Spears Is Leaving The X Factor -- Who Should Replace Her?

XF-RI_06292012-1_S-CS1H7786_RWhen The X Factor returns next season, Britney Spears won’t be on the judges’ panel — and it’s her choice.

UPDATE: The pop star is leaving Fox’s Simon Cowell-led singing competition to focus on her music career, she explains in a statement shared by TV Guide Magazine via Twitter. “I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season,” Spears confirms. “Watching them up on that stage made me miss performing so much!”

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The news comes days after network entertainment president Kevin Reilly said he’d gladly welcome the “Toxic” singer back for another go.

“I think Britney did a really good job,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena. “People remain fascinated with her and always will… Maybe people were waiting for more drastic displays that never came. But pound for pound, I thought The X Factor was excellent this year. She tucked in really nicely on that bench.”

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Spears’ exit, fueled by reports that her lackluster critiques of contestants didn’t live up to her reported $15 million salary, has been rumored for weeks.

What do you think about Spears’ departure? Who would you like to see replace her? Sound off in the comments!

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