Updated 3:00 p.m. EST
Paula Abdul exemplifies grace in a statement confirming today's big rumor that she's been given the axe factor from Simon Cowell's mediocre reality show.
In a statement released to TheInsider.com, Paula says, "Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season. I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon 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."
With the rumor now confirmed, who should replace Paula to make The X-Factor actually watchable?
Simon Cowell must've found one of Paula Abdul's left-behind uppers because the reality show king has been cleaning house on The X-Factor over the past 24 hours. Fellow-judge Nicole Scherzinger and host hottie Steve Jones were the first to receive the axe in an unsurprising move, but Paula's pink slip seems to have come out of nowhere.
Deadline broke the news late Monday:
Not only are host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger exiting from the Fox show, but now a Simon Cowell insider just told me that his longtime friend and American Idol colleague Paula Abdul won’t be returning as an X Factor judge next season. I understand from sources that none of the three left on their own accord.
Perhaps Paula was too sober and coherent for the show's first season, which failed to meet Simon's predictions of 20 million average viewers per episode? Whatever the case, she was the most entertaining and lively lump of plastic in the X-Factor's judges seats (which is certainly saying something), and firing her will likely prove a big mistake.