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Farewell to the worst judges ever.

Paula Abdul is leaving Fox’s The X Factor.

So is fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger.

And so is host Steve Jones.

Sources near the show confirm all three stars will not return for X Factor‘s second season next fall, though Fox has only officially acknowledged the departure of Jones and Scherzinger. The stunning X Factor exodus marks a dramatic day of network reality-show bloodletting.

The events cap weeks of speculation about whether Scherzinger and Jones will continue on the show. Abdul’s future with the series has been speculated about too, but less so — especially given her longtime friendship and working history with Factor judge and executive producer Simon Cowell.

The departures will leave Cowell and record producer L.A. Reid, both judges on the show, as the only returning on-air talent.

Fox and Cowell are determined to make changes to the series after a first season that performed solidly, but fell short of what many felt was the show’s high potential given its ratings dominance in the U.K. (Factor delivered about 12.6 million viewers and a 4.4 average rating among adults 18-49 for its Wednesday episodes). The performances of Scherzinger and Jones were particularly panned by critics.

Apparently, Nicole is trying to say it was her decision and Abdul hasn’t said anything to the public. She’s probably instead talking to the bottom of a bottle of Wild Turkey. We can’t wait to see who they have next.

In the meantime, here’s a farewell to Nicole’s cakes.


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