Abdul says she understands her ouster by dear friend — Simon Cowell says he would like to work with departing judge in near future
Paula Abdul says she isn't taking her "X Factor" ouster personally: In a statement Tuesday, she says she had been talking with show creator Simon Cowell about it for some time, and that "business decisions often times override personal considerations."
"Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to 'The X Factor' next season," she said. "I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations."
She said that she, Cowell, Fox and co-producer Fremantle had been "communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.
"Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle," she continued. "I want nothing more than for 'The X Factor' to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”
The reference to "personal considerations" reflects Abdul's long ties to Cowell, who persuaded her to join his new show after she departed "American Idol." The two were the original "Idol" judges along with Randy Jackson, who remains on the "Idol" panel.
Cowell issued his own statement, thanking Abdul as well as "X Factor" judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones, also ousted in Monday's shakeup of the show.
"I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of 'The X Factor' last year," he said. "We had a lot of fun making the show together and importantly, we found some real talent and stars.
"You do develop friendships with the people you work with and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future," he said. "I'm sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next, but now is the time to thank them all for everything they did last year."
"We love Paula. She is a remarkable talent and we appreciate all of her contributions," added Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell. "We're lucky that she is a part of the Fox family, and we look forward to working with her again soon."
Added Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America: "On behalf of everyone at FremantleMedia, I’d like to thank Paula, Nicole and Steve for all of their contributions launching the first season of 'The X Factor' and helping to discover some extraordinary talent. … It was truly a pleasure working with each of them and in particular, reuniting with Paula once again. We sincerely wish them all the best."
Cowell said before "X Factor" aired that he hoped it would displace "Idol" as the nation's top-rated show. But "X Factor" has scored less than half the ratings for "Idol," and a closer rival is NBC's upstart "The Voice," which was developed and made it to air during the long run-up to the "X Factor" premiere.
Abdul now has the dubious distinction of leaving both "Idol" and "X Factor" after serving as an original judge on both shows.
Cowell, meanwhile, is left to reconfigure his new show without half of the judges and the host. Cowell and L.A. Reid are the only remaining "X Factor" judges.