Nicole Scherzinger is reportedly leaving “X Factor” UK to focus on her music career once more, and Simon Cowell will return to the show that once dominated ratings across the pond.
Scherzinger is said to have agonized over the decision to leave, but the former Pussycat Doll wants to get back to her roots and put out an album, her first new work in three years.
“It breaks her heart, but Nicole is sad not to be able to go back to the show this year,” a source told The Sun. “She put her music career on hold last year but now she has to focus on her music.”
Cowell created the UK version in 2004 and it was a powerhouse, taking over the talent competition market in Europe and dominating the ratings. When he made the move to the U.S., the show garnered interest but ultimately had a lot going against it; namely, the fact that it was up against “American Idol” and “The Voice”. With lagging ratings and a lot of turnaround where judges were concerned, Cowell has decided to cut it loose and return to the original, which has also taken a bit of a hit since he’s been gone.
“Unfortunately, there is no ‘X Factor USA’ without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life,” Kevin Reilly, Fox’s chairman of entertainment, said in a statement. “We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”
Cowell says the market is too saturated in the U.S. with talent shows for any one of them to be really successful.
“I don’t know why any show would want to be in America right now – anyone – because it’s too tough of a market. I mean, there’s going to be, this year, something like 14 talent shows on American TV. “I’ve got one of them with America’s Got Talent, which, luckily, is just as good as everybody else’s. It’s become a joke.”
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