After a season of media and social media criticisms (and a double-digit drop in ratings), Spears is quitting Simon Cowell’s reality singing competition, MTV News reported. In fact, numerous stories had prefaced the move with rumor that she would not be asked back for another season.
TMZ broke the news on Wednesday night, quoting “unimpeachable sources” as saying that while Spears loves the show, she’s focused on recording her eighth studio album at the moment. “Britney loves Simon, she likes Demi Lovato but her thing is music.”
The news came just days after Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters that he was pleased with Spears’ job on “Factor.”
“I thought it went very, very well,” Reilly said on Tuesday. “It was fraught with unknowns, and I think Britney did a very good job. People are fascinated with her and always will be. Last year the ratings were a little bit higher, but I think it was a better show this year. I think she tucked in really nicely on the bench.”
The signing of Spears was a gamble for Cowell, considering that the press-shy singer has been reluctant to go in front of cameras for several years following a string of personal problems that began in 2007.
Spears is yet another one-season wonder for the show, adding to alumni that include Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after season one and the recent departure of original judge L.A. Reid following the just-completed season. No word if Demi will return for a second season.
RBR-TVBR observation: The show paid her $15 million for judging—it certainly was a gamble. The ratings would probably do better with pop stars like Justin Bieber or one of the One Direction crew in the judges’ seat. That would be quite expensive, however, and maybe even more of a gamble with the bottom line.