AceShowbiz - Simon Cowell has spoken up about the big changes on "The X Factor (US)". Confirming the departures of judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, as well as host Steve Jones, the British television personality stated, "I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year."
Claiming that they will maintain their relationship, Cowell shared, "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." He also wished them success in their next project as saying, "I'm sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next."
Sharing Cowell's hope to work with Abdul again someday, president of alternative entertainment for FOX, Mike Darnell, stated, "She is a remarkable talent and we appreciate all of her contributions. We're lucky that she is a part of the FOX family, and we look forward to working with her again soon."
In a response to her exit, Abdul released a statement read, "I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions oftentimes 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."
The 49-year-old singer/dancer added that she and her former fellow "American Idol" judge, Cowell, will remain friends. "I've treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at FOX and Fremantle," she said. "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."
As for Scherzinger, she confirmed her exit through a short message posted on her Twitter. "I wanted to let you know directly from me that it's true I won't be returning to The X Factor," she tweeted on Tuesday, January 31. Jones had earlier taken to his own Twitter page to announce the news as writing, "I wont be hosting next seasons XFactor which is a shame but I cant complain as I've had a great time."
With Abdul and Scherzinger being cut from the show, Cowell and music producer L.A. Reid are the only remaining judges who will return next season. Words are, Mariah Carey and Stacy Ferguson aka Fergie are now being considered to complete the judging panel. Meanwhile, David Beckham's wife, Victoria Adams, is rumored to replace Jones as the host.