"The X Factor" has said goodbye to two of its familiar faces: mentor Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.
E! News reported that the former Pussycat Doll and "Dancing With the Stars" champ has decided not to return to the show in order to focus on her music career. "She's spoken to Simon [Cowell], and he's given her his blessing," a source told E! Scherzinger often became emotional during elimination episodes, shedding tears and expressing sympathy for ousted contestants.
As for inaugural "X Factor" host Jones, the cheeky Welshman broke the news himself via Twitter on Monday. "I won't be hosting next seasons X Factor which is a shame but I cant complain as I've had a great time," Jones tweeted to his more than 94,000 followers. "Good luck to everyone on the show."
Jones had decidedly big shoes to fill stepping into the gig, with comparisons instantly made to "American Idol" host/ media mogul Ryan Seacrest. Throughout the season, the reviews of Jones' hosting skills were decidedly mixed.
Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly's comments during the TCA panels earlier this month now seem as though a decision was made awhile ago. "I think everyone has come to realize the value of a Ryan Seacrest," he told reporters during the network's press tour panel. "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."
The 34-year-old Jones seemed to take the criticism in stride and didn't appear to have high hopes for a return for the second season. "There's been no contract conversations and there won't be until the New Year," Jones told Metro UK in December. "If I'm back, great. If not, I'll do something else. Simple as that."
One thing Jones does have hope for is a possible romantic connection with Scherzinger, who was originally supposed to be his co-host before she replaced Cheryl Cole on the judging panel.
"If I ever leave 'X Factor,' Scherzinger's phone will be smoking hot from me ringing it constantly," Jones joked to Metro. "If we are not colleagues, then she's fair game."
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