Steve Jones to Depart ‘The X Factor’, Says British Tabloid

Steve Jones on "X Factor." (Fox)

Adding to the drama around “The X Factor” as it concludes its first American season, the British tabloid Daily Mirror is reporting that the show’s host, Steve Jones, won’t be returning for a second season.

Many of the show’s fans didn’t really think that Jones was a particularly good fit, and given the very public squabbles over how he got the job — he was brought in when Nicole Scherzinger didn’t like the original selection for co-host, then was left to host solo when Scherzinger was moved to the judge’s table to replace Cheryl Cole — it would stand to reason that he was a one-season-only choice to begin with. But reviews about his hosting skills have been pretty scathing.

It does feel like Simon Cowell is on the warpath lately, though. Not only did he openly criticize how the first season of the American version went, including what he felt was a not-so-great judging job on his part, but it looks like Scherzinger has been a particularly easy target for him. It’s gotten to the point where she’s not sure if she’ll be back for season two. Oh, and Cowell wants to make some drastic changes to his other big talent show, “America’s Got Talent,” that won’t stop with Howard Stern, as we found out yesterday. It’s gonna be a busy spring for Simon, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Jones’ reps have denied the report to People magazine, calling it “a fabrication.” A spokesman for the show told the magazine that “No discussions have been had and no decisions will be made about any contracts until the New Year.”

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