X Factor 2012: Kelly Rowland won’t be back…Dannii Minogue or Sharon Osbourne to replace her?

Kelly Rowland has confirmed what we have all suspected for weeks, she won’t be back on The X Factor this year.

The American star made a statement earlier today, revealing that she won’t be returning to the ITV show for a second year and while it has been implied that it was her decision to step down, there is a lot of suspicion that in fact she wasn’t offered a spot on the panel by Simon Cowell.

She claimed that previous work commitments clashed with the talent series, making her unable to be available for all the dates of the live shows. Her spokesperson said:

“Kelly has not been able to agree a deal that fits into her autumn/winter schedule so sadly cannot accept a place on the 2012 panel.”

A spokesperson for The X Factor quickly relased a follow up statement, reading:

“Kelly’s immense experience in the music industry shone through in both her Judging and mentoring on The X Factor and we would like to thank her for being a part of the country’s number one show and wish her well for the future.”

It has already been confirmed that Gary Barlow will be back on the show this summer and this morning, on Daybreak Tulisa revealed that she hoped to be on the panel when auditions start next month. Her return has not been officially confirmed but after Simon Cowell offered her a performance slot on Britain’s Got Talent this Sunday, we think it’s only a formality.

Louis Walsh has previously claimed that he has signed his contract for 2012, though again, this has not been confirmed by ITV executives.

But who will take Kelly’s place? Well the main name in the frame right now seems to be that of Dannii Minogue.

We reported yesterday that the Australian star was in ‘secret talks’ with show bosses about making a comeback to the show, after she was forced to leave last year due to scheduling conflicts with Australia’s Got Talent, on which she also judges.

Insiders had reported that Cowell was keen to have her back onside – and not just because he felt bad about revealing their affair to Tom Bowers – and thinks that viewers would support her return to the series.

Dannii recently split from her baby daddy Kris Smith and is said to be keen to distract herself with work and what better place to do it that on the set of the busiest most time consuming TV show around.

Tulisa admitted that she would love to work with the mum of one also, and said:

“I used to watch X Factor before I got on the panel. I always thought Dannii was great and I’m sure we’d get on really well.”

Yesterday, Louis Walsh claimed that there are five people currently in the running for Rowland’s spot and confirmed that one of them is Sharon Osbourne.

She left the series in 2008, after clashing with Minogue but has since admitted that she adored working on the X Factor and may have been hasty to walk away over a personal disagreement.

Would you like to see Dannii or Sharon back on The X Factor? Could it help Simon with his ratings issues? Leave your comments below…

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!