Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger: Also Out of The X Factor!

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Simon Cowell was not kidding about major changes coming to The X Factor.

With Steve Jones officially out as host - the Brit Tweeted the news himself - new reports indicate that neither Paula Abdul nor Nicole Scherzinger will return for season two.

"At this point, the only ones staying are Simon and L.A. Reid," an insider tells E! News. "Simon wants to take the show in a different direction."

We can only hope that direction involves fewer contrived fights between judges and more of a focus on the singers themselves.

Original X Factor Panel

Producer Nigel Lythgoe was apparently taken aback by this development, Tweeting late last night: "Shocked to see Simon has fired Paula Abdul, Nicole and Steve from the X-Factor."

The X Factor was far from a ratings disaster for Fox, averaging over 12 million viewers per week and regularly winning its time slot in the key demographic of 18-49-year olds. But Cowell had predicted 20 million households and instant competition for American Idol from the outset, lofty standards that he never came close to meeting.

Who might Cowell now recruit to help him compete with the other Fox singing juggernaut? Mariah Carey has been a rumored replacement for weeks and would certainly brings attention to the competition.

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