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Since we now know that L.A. Reid will not be returning for a third season of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, speculation has already started on who will replace him. A report out today suggests that Chris Brown and Rihanna are Cowell’s dream candidates.
Reid told Access Hollywood Thursday that he would not be back, explaining, “I have to go back and I have a company to run that I’ve kind of neglected and it saddens me a little bit, but only a little bit.”
Reid, the CEO of Epic Records, said that Cowell had nothing to do with the decision. “I love Simon,” he explained. “We have a great relationship, we have fun together, we talk, we laugh, we do bad things, we’re friends. I owe so much to Simon. I really have a lot [of] respect for him and I always will. I support him, I support the show and I’ll always be in business with him.”
“It was fun! I had a great time,” he said about his two seasons as a judge on the show.
As for his replacements, The Sun is reporting that Cowell has his eyes on Rihanna and Chris Brown in the hopes that they would be the ones to help disappointing ratings.
“Simon is a huge admirer of Rihanna and knows she’s star quality,” a source told the paper. “As well as bringing an aura to the panel thanks to her current standing in music, she is also feisty and will make great TV. Simon loves these sort of characters.”
When it comes to Brown, the source says, “The US X Factor has improved on the first season’s ratings but it’s got some way to go to reach Simon’s expectations. Adding Chris to the panel will certainly create a talking point.”
Reid was the only season one judge aside from Cowell to return for season two. Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were replaced by Britney Spears and Demi Lovato and it is unknown if they are interested in returning. Fox was quick to pick up the show for a third season in October.