Britney Spears has finally confirmed what Fox network could not bring itself to acknowledge on Thursday: she’s leaving the network’s struggling singing competition “The X Factor” after just one season.
“I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season,” Spears said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.
“I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens, but it’s time for me to get back in the studio,” she said, in reference to the teen X-testants she mentored on this past second season of the show — one of whom, 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar finished behind only winner Tate Stevens of the team comprised of X-testants over the age of 25.
Spears was paid $15 million-ish to play a mentor on the show — a good investment, had she goosed ratings on the show which, in its first season achieved just half the crowd creator Simon Cowell had promised.
Spears, and Demi Lovato replaced first season mentors Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger; first season judge Steve Jones also got the hook, replaced by hosting veteran Mario Lopez and newbie Khloe Kardashian Odom.
But Brit in particular failed to deliver. Instead of the erratic-pop-star behavior for which she’s become known and adored by millions, she behaved more like a taxidermied frog with a limited vocabulary — “amazing” and one or two other words.
Naturally, the ratings tumbled even further in the second season, and the show got clobbered by NBC’s singing-competition series, “The Voice.”
Cowell’s now officially down two mentors — himself and Demi, LA Reid having announced a while ago that he’s throwing in the towel to get back to his day job.
“Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much!” Spears said in her statement of her mentees.
“I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love most.”