When The X Factor returns next season, Britney Spears won’t be on the judges’ panel — and it’s her choice.
The pop star is leaving Fox’s Simon Cowell-led singing competition to focus on her music career and complete a new album, TMZ.com reports.
The news comes days after network entertainment president Kevin Reilly said he’d gladly welcome the “Toxic” singer back for another go.
“I think Britney did a really good job,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena. “People remain fascinated with her and always will… Maybe people were waiting for more drastic displays that never came. But pound for pound, I thought The X Factor was excellent this year. She tucked in really nicely on that bench.”
Spears’ exit, fueled by reports that her lackluster critiques of contestants didn’t live up to her reported $15 million salary, has been rumored for weeks.
Fox has renewed The X Factor for a third season, the network announced Monday.
“I wanted you guys to be the first to know that FOX have confirmed that @TheXFactorUSA will be back next year for its third season,” judge Simon Cowell tweeted. “It was important for you to be the first to know because it is thanks to your support and enthusiasm we are coming back.”
This season, the singing competition is averaging 10.6 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in the adults-18-to-49 demographic, according to Fox.
Are you looking forward to another season of The X Factor?