UPDATE at 7:47 a.m., January 31: Five hours ago, Nigel Lythgoe Tweeted that Simon Cowell has fired Paula Abdul? What?
UPDATE at 2:43 p.m.: Paula has officially confirmed the news with this statement:
“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season. 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.”
UPDATE: 4:08 p.m. Simon has also confirmed the news, thanking everybody for their services. Mike Darnell of Fox specifically thanked Paula for her services. Nicole Tweeted her departure this afternoon as well.
We made fun of Steve Jones here relentlessly during “The X Factor” season, probably more so than anybody this side of Sanjaya. And now he’s out, according to his Twitter page.
“I won’t be hosting next seasons X Factor which is a shame but I cant complain as I’ve had a great time. Good luck to everyone on the show.”
The fact of the matter is Steve Jones was bad at his job. And for a reality competition program with $5 million at stake, it’s an important job – at least for a TV show. He looked perpetually stressed and uncomfortable, even when he tried so hard to look relaxed and in control. He read the teleprompter with the authenticity of a politician and the joy of a wax figure. He was the anti-Seacrest, the Robo-host, the man lost in a vortex of confusion and sadness. By the third live episode, he probably realized he was toast.
During a phone press conference in the middle of the season, the poor man complained to reporters about producers barking in his ear and mistook a question comparing him to Seacrest, thinking it was a compliment. The journalist didn’t bother to correct him. Very awkward.
Bottom line: Simon Cowell goofed on that hire!
UPDATE at 10:48 a.m. Jan. 31: As for Nicole Scherzinger, Fox has confirmed to Hollywood Reporter that she it out as well.
She is also missing that authenticity gene. She lacks the warmth of Paula Abdul. She seemed almost redundant given Paula’s spot. Of course, she was supposed to be a co-host with Jones until Cheryl Cole was booted. I almost wish we had Cheryl. I’m certain she would have been better.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk