• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
FEB
21
2 YEARS

'X Factor' Entertains Replacing Steve Jones With Two Hosts

Duo MCs is not a new idea for the Fox talent competition, but it seems like the one the producers wished they stuck with from the beginning.

steve jones x factor pepsi house P
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Remember when Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger were to originally share The X Factor hosting duties? Well, the duo hosts option is back on the table as part of a rejiggered second season according to one of the show’s top executives.

PHOTOS: An 'American Idol' to 'X Factor' Timeline

"Simon's vision was always to have a man and woman host this and to make it feel a little bit like an award ceremony,” FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz, whose company is a producer on both American Idol and The X Factor, tells TV Guide Magazine. “A glamorous girl and a good-looking guy doing a kind of double act."

Jones may have appreciated sharing the burden with someone else. Alas, that wasn’t his lot in life. After suffering much criticism among fans for his curt style, Jones broke the news of his departure from the show himself via Twitter in late-January. Well, you know what hit the fan then. Over the next few hours, both Scherzinger and Paula Abdul would find themselves sharing the termination headlines with the British talent.

STORY: The J.Lo Effect: $15 Million Becoming the New Standard as Reality Salaries Soar

As to the reasoning behind the changes, Frot-Coutaz says that X Factor didn’t differentiate itself enough from American Idol, which they chose to leave alone this year after last year’s additions of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler -- another decision they seem to be second guessing in light of its ratings decline.

In the case of Abdul, it felt Simon Cowell’s chemistry with her was too reminiscent of Idol, as well. So, the pop star and choreographer had to go too.

PHOTOS: Inside Simon Cowell's 'X Factor' Trailer

"There was no way around it," the CEO says. "In terms of making the show feel different, everyone felt we needed to put it in a different situation."

Since then, Cowell has made it very clear that they’re looking for big stars to fill the open judging spots. Currently, Janet Jackson is in early talks with the producers. And while Mariah Carey remains a desirable hire for the show, Cowell has admitted that the late Whitney Houston was under consideration at one point as well.

Who do you think can fill the two hosting spots they’re mulling over? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro