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Nicole Scherzinger will not be returning for the next season of X Factor.
Breaking the story Monday, E! Online spoke with a source who said, "She wants to focus on her music career." Scherzinger's European tour kicks off next month, and it's no surprise the singer wants to lighten her load. With X Factor, "She didn't have any time really to work on her music. She was doing X Factor six days a week."
Even the calloused Simon Cowell is in support. "He's given her his blessing," the source said.
This comes just hours after host Steve Jones announced Monday afternoon on Twitter:
I wont be hosting next seasons XFactor which is a shame but I cant complain as I've had a great time. Good luck to everyone on the show.
— Steve Jones (@SteveJones) January 31, 2012
X Factor sources confirm Jones' exit. The show has had solid ratings and a steady viewership, but has failed to meet the high expectations after wild success in the U.K., says Entertainment Weekly. It's possible that British personality Jones' lower ratings would have producers pushing him out eventually.
During a TCA panel, Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly recognized the difficult job the judges have on the show, and looking back it seems like Jones' exit had been in the works for a while.
"I think everyone has come to realize the value of a Ryan Seacrest," Reilly said. "If you dialed the clock back 11 years, I'm not sure everybody in this room would have given him all the credit at that time. Those are very hard jobs to do. So whether Steve's the guy or not, it comes under the heading of 'growth' in general. There will be some tweaks to the show, but I'll tell you, I'm very happy to have it, and it's gonna be part of us for a long time."
There has been no word on who will be replacing either Jones or Scherzinger next season.