There's a bloodbath going on at the 'X Factor.'
Following Monday's public announcement that host Steve Jones would not be returning to Simon Cowell's baby come reports that judge Nicole Scherzinger, and even more shocking, Cowell's longtime sparring partner, Paula Abdul, will not be returning either.
Apart from the show's untouchable producer and star Cowell, that would leave only judge L.A. Reid.
Jones tweeted on Monday that the jig was up, for him at least. "I won't be hosting next season's 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." Fox confirmed Monday Scherzinger was also off the show. Abdul's exit has been widley reported, but not confirmed by the network. Neither Scherzinger nor Abdul has commented.
The 'X Factor' was a hit by all measures, perhaps aside from Cowell's. The show had very good ratings, drawing between 12 and 13 million viewers per show, but came up short against its ultimate measuring stick: 'American Idol.' Cowell's former talent competition pulls in about 20 million viewers, and Cowell had said that if he didn't beat that number, he would consider the 'X Factor' a failure.
Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly had said at the Television Critics Association convention earlier this month that 'there will be changes' to the show. But he also voiced support.
"I'm thrilled with the fact that the show has helped provide us with one of the strongest falls we've had in our history," he said.
Possible replacement judges include singer Mariah Carey, who Cowell said would have been offered the gig had she not been pregnant at the time.
'Idol' survived Cowell's departure by bringing on fresh blood in the form of singers Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Can Cowell perform the same magic? Stay tuned for Season 2.