‘X Factor’ Shakeup? No Talks About Steve Jones’ Exit, Rep Says

With the season finale two days away, host's rep says he's staying put. Is Nicole Scherzinger?

"X Factor" host Steve Jones' representative says a report that he will be cut from the show is "a fabrication" and that there have been no talks about his exit.

The British newspaper the Daily Mirror reports that Fox plans to rejigger the show by not renewing Jones' contract. It quoted an anonymous source who said, "He got terrible reviews from critics when he started and things haven’t got better," and that he is all but certain to be gone from the show next season.

Read more: 'X Factor': Nicole Scherzinger Gets the Boos as Rachel Gets the Boot (Video)

"The Mirror story is a fabrication that we would have corrected had we been called for comment," Jones' publicist said in a statement to TheWrap. "There have been absolutely no conversations about Steve Jones leaving 'The X Factor.' Steve is very happy with the outcome of this season and he looks forward to being back and discovering more talent in the new year."

A Fox rep, meanwhile, tells TheWrap the network has no comment on Jones' status with "The X Factor," and a representative for Cowell's Syco Entertainment called the Mirror story "pure speculation."

Read more: 'X Factor': Why It's the Most Exhausting Show on TV

Judge Nicole Scherzinger, the Pussycat Dolls singer who herself was discovered via the reality TV talent search series "Popstars," has also drawn many negative reviews. When asked during an "X Factor" news conference on Monday about whether she would return for season two, Scherzinger declined to make a definitive statement.

"For me, what's important is to live in the moment. I need to get ("X Factor" finalist) Josh (Krajcik) coming out swinging and feeling amazing this week and to make sure I finish my job," Scherzinger said. "I've put my heart and my soul and passion … I put a thousand percent into this year. So, I'm just going to focus on making sure I do a really good job with Josh here this week and only God knows what will happen next year."

The questions about who will return next season come just before Thursday's finale of a season that fell short of creator Simon Cowell's expectations for it. He told critics last summer that he wanted the show to score 20 million viewers, but it has failed to climb from the roughly 12.49 million viewers who watched its September launch.

While the show has stirred buzz for certain episodes — most notably the Dec. 8 live results show when teen contender Rachel Crow unexpectedly got the boot — "X Factor" viewership has fallen to as few as 8.51 million — still an enviable number, but one well off of Cowell's goal.

  • EK

    The real question is how “American Idol” will do in the new season premiering  next month. If it returns at its previous strength, with twice the audience of “X Factor,”  that will send a message to Fox about the ability of “Factor” to ever eclipse “Idol.” That will raise eyebrows among advertisers in the next upfronts. Whether “Factor” needs a shakeup will, to some extent, be determined by “Idol's” performance.

    • jake23r

      there's no question that idol will do better.  You have to understand that the x factor improved Fox's fortunes in the fall with the x factor — it may not have been the massive hit that people thought it would be, but it is no flop.  I think it was hurt a lot by the voice.

  • JacquelineMarshall

    At the end of the day the viewers will decide by how many still watch by the end of this season.

  • Ruthannmclaughlin

    The screaming from the audience is hard to hear the show.  They are yelling in the mike and still is hard to understand what they are saying.  American Idle isn't as bad.  I love american idle and this new show I just was turned off by the audience.  

  • Danny Salvatera

    Simon, if you want your ratings to go to the roof, replace the current three judges with Justin Timberlake, Brittney Spears and Shenia Twain. I hope these three will accept, if offered the
    job.

  • Shawn McLaughlin

    I think it was hurt because the talent absolutely sucked. Chris Rene was one of the 3 best of the season?,,,,,,,,REALLY? His was purely a campaign run on backstory and nothing else. Ugh!

  • Bud3us

    The show is rigged. Not to many people will wtach now…So much for the numbers

  • richard king

    steve jones was obnoxious and rude . A real show breaker for me. Simons poooor choice.  I think he knew it early on. Glad hes gone!