"I've made the very difficult decision not to return for another season," said Spears, who was reportedly paid $15 million to join Simon Cowell, fellow newbie Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid on the second season of the ratings-challenged reality singing competition. "I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens, but it's time for me to get back in the studio."
Spears is working on her eighth studio album with Hit-Boy and will.i.am and is reportedly considering a tour in support of the as-yet-untitled new effort. On Friday, TMZ was among the outlets reporting that the singer is in "serious talks" to headline a residency at a Las Vegas hotel. The "big, nightly show" would be along the lines of similar stands by Elton John, Cher and Celine Dion and negotiations have reportedly been going on for some time.
"Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much!" said Spears, who was criticized by some observers for her distracted, flat presence on "Factor." "I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most."
Though her tenure on the show has become best known for a series of GIF-worthy facial expressions, Spears' 13-year-old protégé, Carly Rose Sonenclar, placed a strong second to the Reid-mentored winner, country singer Tate Stevens.
Spears was part of what has been a constantly rotating panel on "Factor," which saw the booting of Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after season one and the recent departure of original judge Reid following the just-completed season. MTV News was unable to confirm at press time if Lovato will return for a second season.