*It’s a done deal. Paula Abdul is indeed part of “The X Factor” bloodbath that has already claimed fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.
“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season,” Abdul said in a statement Tuesday. “I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon [Cowell] 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.”
Only Cowell and L.A. Reid remain following the massive personnel overhaul.
“I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year,” Cowell said 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.”
Added Mike Darnell, Fox’s president of alternative entertainment: “We love Paula. 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.”
Cowell brought Abdul on board to “The X Factor” after admitting he missed working with her on American Idol, but Abdul did not sign her contract until the day auditions kicked off in Los Angeles. Abdul was also the first judge to see all of her final acts eliminated from the competition.
It’s yet to be determined who will fill the vacant slots for Season 2, which will premiere in the fall.