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'X Factor': Simon, Paula, Nicole, and L.A. on returning for season 2

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There’s been a fair amount of chatter in the last few days about whether The X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones will be returning for next season — reports Fox say are bunk since there will be “absolutely no discussions…about any contracts until the New Year.”

Still, that didn’t stop the press from asking all four judges about their designs on The X Factor‘s second season after Wednesday night’s performance finale show. (Jones did not speak with any non-TV media.) Here’s what they had to say (or, in some cases, studiously not say) to reporters backstage about it: 

SIMON COWELL on whether he’s thinking about changes for next year: “I take a break. I sit back, think. All the team come back over to the UK. The network. We actually get the sponsors involved as well, because I like their feedback. If everybody says it’s perfect, don’t change. People thinking we need changes, we’ll make changes. Maybe I won’t be here. [Laughs]”

NICOLE SCHERZINGER on whether she’s up for a second season: “Right now, it just took a lot out of me. I’m an artist first, not a judge, so I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and I can only just be myself. But at the beginning of the [new] year, I’m focusing on my album and getting it out. I’m going on tour in Europe. So I’m going to focus on the music. X Factor isn’t until later on in the year, so I get to focus on me and my music, which is what I do organically.” So is there one thing she’d like to change about the show next season? “For me to be able to perform every week, to open the show. [Laughs]”

PAULA ABDUL on whether she’d like to see Nicole and Steve return, and her own hopes for season 2: “People can say whatever they want [about Nicole and Steve] and there’s no validity, because we’ve been working. I think all in all, everyone’s done a great job. I’m looking forward to coming back. I’ve had an amazing time. I’m grateful to always be working around talent. It’s my most favorite thing to do.”

L.A. REID on whether he’s looking forward to the second season: “I do. I don’t know if I’m even coming back, but if they invite me back. I’m certainly interested, yes. If Simon wants me to do a second round, if Fox wants me to do a second round, if [production company] Fremantle wants me to do a second round, then yes.” Is there anything he would want to do differently next year? “No. Because this is a reality show. It’s about being real. Hopefully it’s come through, but I’ve been myself all season. I don’t know how to do anything except be myself. I don’t know what I would change. The show’s a hit. Don’t fix something that’s not broken.”

Read more:

‘The X Factor’ performance finale recap: You Oughta Show

‘The X Factor’: Josh, Chris, and Melanie on their superstar duets, and their friends back home

‘The X Factor’ judges and finalists on the Top 3′s favorite performances, and why you shouldn’t count out the groups