There’s been a shakeout at the ‘X Factor" that’s shocked much of the industry.
Simon Cowell has decided that Paula Abdul will not be returning to the show, according to a number of media accounts.
Not surprisingly, neither judge Nicole Scherzinger nor host Steve Jones will be returning either.
That leaves just Cowell and L.A. Reid as the two returning on-air players at the show.
Nigel Lythgoe, the longtime showrunner of "American Idol" tweeted "Shocked to see Simon has fired Paula Abdul, Nicole and Steve from the X Factor," according to E! Online.
While Jones admitted that he had been let go from the show, Scherzinger was claiiming that it was her idea that she leave the reality series, according to another article at E! Online.
Says that article, " ‘[Scherzinger] wants to focus on her music career,’ a source said. ‘She’s spoken to Simon [Cowell] and he’s given her his blessing. ‘X-Factor’ took a lot more of her time than she ever expected. She didn’t have any time really to work on her music. She was doing ‘X Factor’ six days a week.’ "
Nice try, "source."
Here’s The Hollywood Reporter’s version of how the decisions were made: "According to a show insider, a series of ‘X Factor’ season 2 offsite meetings are taking place wherein show creator Simon Cowell has assembled his team and creative brain-trust for a post-mortem. The purpose: detailing what went wrong and what was done right on season 1 of the Fox singing competition.
"Among the brash verdicts, says THR’s source: that Abdul’s role was seen as ‘irrelevant to the mix,’ in part through no fault of her own (as mentor to the groups, her contestants were picked off early in the competition).
The THR report adds, "Still, Abdul was not without her controversies on the show. Many blamed her for the dismissal of season 1 favorite Rachel Crow, precipitated by advice Abdul gave to Scherzinger to let the decision be made by the public vote. America then sent the 13-year-old packing."
The THR story also says that both Jones and Scherzinger were informed Monday night, Jan. 30, 2012, that they would not be returning to the show.
A number of media accounts say that Fox has confirmed that Jones and Scherzinger will not be returning to the "X Factor," but that Abdul’s firing remains unconfirmed officially by Fox.
Abdul was not able to be reached for comment by any of the publications that reported this story on Monday night.