The X Factor is toast. Fox announced Friday, Feb. 7 that the network is pulling the plug on its reality singing competition series after its three season run in the U.S. -- the same day Simon Cowell officially said he's leaving the show to return as a judge on The X Factor UK.
"I've had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on The X Factor and American Idol," Cowell said in a statement. "And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!)." The sometimes-acerbic judge added, "I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!"
As previously reported by Us Weekly last December, Demi Lovato opted out of judging in a potential fourth season of the show to focus on her music. The 21-year-old singer spent two seasons as a judge on the show. Britney Spears, music producer L.A. Reid, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio each served as judges for one season.
"Unfortunately, there is no X Factor USA without Simon Cowell," Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company added in the statement. "But we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon."
With steady ratings declines, X Factor has struggled against its reality rival The Voice. The show has served as a platform for launching the music careers of groups like Fifth Harmony and Emblem3.
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