UPDATE: Well, it didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. Shortly after it confirmed Steve Jones’ departure as host, Fox also confirmed the departure of Nicole Scherzinger as a judge. The two, originally paired as co-hosts, had been considered the weakest links and the most likely casualties going into Season 2. I hear that both were axed and would like to give Jones props for taking it like a man, breaking the news himself and playing it straight on Twitter. Meanwhile, Scherzinger chose to use her handlers who fed E! some non-sense about this being her decision and her wanting “to focus back on her music career.”
PREVIOUS: The expected sweeping changes on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor after a ho-hum first season have started with one of the most obvious targets, host Steve Jones. Fox has confirmed that Jones won’t return to the singing competition, which has already been renewed for a second season. Jones broke the news himself on Twitter. “I wont be hosting next seasons XFactor which is a shame but I can’t complain as I’ve had a great time,” he wrote. “Good luck to everyone on the show.” The news is not a shocker as reports that Jones won’t be asked back began circulating even before X Factor had wrapped its first season on Fox.
Veteran British TV presenter Jones was a complete unknown to American viewers until Cowell flew him over for a test at the last minute after Nicole Scherzinger, in her original role as host, nixed her chosen co-host, Corbin Bleu. Jones got the job after showing chemistry with Scherzinger. Of course, that soon proved irrelevant as Scherzinger was moved to the judges table following the dismissal of Cheryl Cole, and Jones became the show’s sole host. But the Welshman never seemed comfortable and drew mostly negative reviews for his performance. Scherzinger herself is on thin ice for another turn at a judge after a shaky first-season showing. She may have a backup plan — her original job just opened up.