LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Britney Spears said Friday that she has made the
"difficult decision" to leave FOX's "The X Factor" after one season.
In a statement, the pop singer said she had an incredible time working on the
singing contest but that it was time to get back into the studio to record.
It was widely reported Thursday that Spears and "The X Factor" were parting
ways after a season in which the show's ratings fell and Spears received
lackluster reviews as a panelist. Fellow panelist Antonio "L.A." Reid previously
announced that he was leaving, giving creator and executive producer Simon
Cowell two spots to fill.
FOX has been informed of Spears' decision, her publicist, Jeff Raymond, said
Friday. FOX spokeswoman Gaude Paez confirmed that Spears is leaving the show and
said the network had no further statement.
Cowell and fellow producers are discussing replacements for Spears and Reid
and will be conferring with FOX, said a person who is familiar with the
situation but lacked authority to comment publicly and insisted on
Demi Lovato is expected to return as a panelist, joining Cowell and the
Spears, 31, said she was proud of the young "X Factor" contestants she helped
counsel but that watching them onstage each week made her miss performing.
"I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most," she added.
When "The X Factor" returns for its third season this fall, Cowell will
attempt once again to match the success of the U.K. series he brought to
America. After Season 1, Cowell replaced panelists Paula Abdul and Nicole
Scherzinger and host Steve Jones, but Spears and Lovato didn't provide the
hoped-for ratings spark, with Spears getting the brunt of criticism from
She received a reported $15 million for one season's work.
Although the series has failed to match Cowell's bold pre-debut predictions,
and certainly hasn't eclipsed sister FOX show "American Idol," it has helped
shore up the network's fall schedule.