- REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
X-Factor judges, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, and host Steve Jones will not be returning for season two, following reports that producer Simon Cowell refused to renew their contracts after failed ratings.
Cowell has been less than impressed with the U.S. version of the X-Factor's ratings after it failed to match that of American Idol and sources suspect that he is implementing drastic changes in a bid to boost viewership, according to BBC.
"I had a big bottom lip at the end of last year. It was a tough year, but it wasn't a horrible year. I just realize you have to do things better and not feel sorry for yourself," Cowell said, hinting that change was inevitable.
"I won't be hosting next seasons 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," Welsh host Jones posted on Twitter.
Critics suspect that Scherzinger and Abdul have both been axed, although sources could not confirm details regarding the changes.
"[Paula] found out today. At this point, the only ones staying are Simon and L.A. Reid," a source revealed to E! Online.
A source close to Scherzinger insisted that the 33-year-old had not been let go, but was actually leaving by choice.
"[Nicole] wants to focus on her music career. She's spoken to Simon and he's given her his blessing," a source said.
"X Factor took a lot more of her time than she ever expected. She didn't have any time really to work on her music. She was doing X Factor six days a week," the source added.
British producer Nigel Lythgoe appeared surprised by the news and took to Twitter where he wrote, "Shocked to see Simon has fired Paula Abdul, Nicole and Steve from the X-Factor."
Cowell, who left American Idol to focus on X-Factor, recently admitted that his show was not doing as well as he had initially anticipated.
"We went into 2011 thinking, 'It's all going to be easy' and of course it wasn't. It was a massive wake-up call," Cowell told The Sun.