One and done. That's what Britney Spears' record with the "X Factor" will be.
After a lackluster turn on the show in which Spears failed to goose ratings for Simon Cowell's reality singing competition, sources close to the production confirmed to MTV News on Thursday (January 10) that the singer has quit the show because she knew she would not be asked to return for this fall's third season.
Spears will be a one-termer after ratings for the show's second season suffered a double-digit dip last year. The singer, whose most lasting legacy on "Factor" could end up being her GIF-worthy grab bag of surprised/bored/blank facial expressions, has not officially been dropped from the panel yet, but the failure to launch made the writing on the wall very clear.
A spokesperson for Fox had no comment on the reports at press time. TMZ broke the news on Wednesday night, quoting "unimpeachable sources" as saying that while Spears loves the show, she's focused on recording her eighth studio album at the moment. "Britney loves Simon, she likes Demi Lovato but her thing is music," said one source.
The signing of Spears was a gamble for Cowell, considering that the press-shy singer has been reluctant to go in front of cameras for several years following a string of personal problems that began in 2007. The news came just days after Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters that he was pleased with Spears' job on "Factor."
"I thought it went very, very well," Reilly said on Tuesday. "It was fraught with unknowns, and I think Britney did a very good job. People are fascinated with her and always will be. Last year the ratings were a little bit higher, but I think it was a better show this year. I think she tucked in really nicely on the bench."
Spears will be 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 L.A. Reid following the just-completed season. It was unknown at press time if Lovato will return for a second season.
After reportedly pulling down a $15 million paycheck for the "Factor" deal, Spears has been in the studio working on tracks with Hit-Boy and will.i.am and is reportedly considering mounting a tour to support the as-yet-untitled new effort. The singer released Femme Fatale in March 2011 and recently appeared alongside pal will on his single "Scream & Shout."