Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?
After being fired from “The X Factor" in a major shakeup of the program by creator and close friend Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul said her ouster was strictly a business decision.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that show host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger were also let go. The show producers and the Fox network felt Abdul was too soft compared to the other judges and audience were not connecting with Scherzinger.
According to philly.com, Cowell said in a statement, "I want to say a massive thank-you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of "The X Factor" last year. Paula, in particular, is a very close friend." Abdul said Cowell would remain a dear friend of hers.
But an "X Factor" staff member said there were a lot of angry words between Abdul and Cowell over the firing, in spite of their public statements. MJB Star reports that Cowell will be judging with L.A. Reid, who remains; and he may be trying to sign Beyonce or Mariah Carey as a judge, as he attempted last year.
The New York Times reported that “X Factor” drew about 12.6 million viewers a show in its first season, below Cowell’s expectations. Cowell had predicted the show would reach American Idol numbers and reach about 20 million.
"The X Factor" is not scheduled to return to Fox until fall.