'X Factor' Turmoil: What's Behind the Firings
Why Simon Cowell is shaking up the show, axing Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and Steve Jones.
Nothing Simon Cowell does is ever subtle. The X Factor creator proved that Jan. 31 when he dismissed host Steve Jones and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul from the Fox singing competition. According to a show insider, the decisions came out of a season two off-site meeting in the U.K., where Cowell had gathered his creative team to take a hard look at the show. Jones was seen as insensitive at times to the emotions of the contestants, many of whom are in their teens. "Steve Jones simply underperformed," says the source. Another defends him, saying Jones had "five different producers in his ear" barking conflicting directions when the show veered off script. Also axed without warning was Scherzinger, who originally was hired to co-host with Jones but joined the judges panel when Cheryl Cole exited during auditions. As for Abdul, a show source says that without her "train wreck-ness," she felt "irrelevant to the mix," and was "difficult" and sometimes "loopy."
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