Scherzinger, Abdul, Jones fired from X Factor

Los Angeles: In a major shake up judges Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and host Steve Jones have been unceremoniously dumped from the US version of X Factor. Abdul, 49, was personally recruited by show boss Simon Cowell for the show after leaving American Idol. She said that she will still remain “dear friends” with Cowell, despite hinting she would’ve liked to have stayed on the show, reported TMZ online.

“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season….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,” Abdul said.

Scherzinger, 33, is currently rehearsing for her upcoming European tour that kicks off next month and her camp insist it was her decision not to return.

“She wants to focus on her music career. She has 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,” a source said. Jones took to his Twitter account to call his departure “a shame.”

“I won’t be hosting next seasons X Factor which is a shame but I can’t complain as I’ve had a great time. Good luck to everyone on the show,” he tweeted.

The show, which is very popular in Britain, was launched with much fanfare in the US but failed to live up to the expectations. Singer Cheryl Cole was the first celebrity to be booted out from the show. (PTI)