X Factor Abdul
Simon Cowell, American Idol

Paula Abdul tells it straight up: She's exiting Fox's X Factor.

The reality show star released a statement confirming her departure from the singing competition series. Within minutes, supportive statements from Fox and X Factor's near-last-man-standing Simon Cowell were released too. As reported last night, Abdul is leaving X Factor, along with fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones. All the statements are below.

Paula Abdul: "Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season. I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon [Cowell] and I, along with Fox and [producers] Fremantle, have 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. 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."

Simon Cowell: "I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year. 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. 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."

Fox's president of alternative Mike Darnell: "We love Paula. She is a remarkable talent and we appreciate all of her contributions. We're lucky that she is a part of the Fox family, and we look forward to working with her again soon."

If you're Scherzinger and Jones, being omitted from that last statement must sting a bit. But Abdul has an extensive history with Fox and arguably deserves being singled out for praise.

The X Factor shakeup represents the beginning of a radical on-air overhaul that currently leaves only judges Cowell and L.A. Reid intact from the first season.

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Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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