Simon Cowell has reportedly confirmed reports that he has axed Tulisa Contostavlos from this year’s X Factor lineup.
The music mogul has been working on firming up the reality TV panel for the last few months and while he hasn’t yet revealed which stars will take the four available seats when auditions start next month, The Radio Times claim that he exclusively revealed that the N Dubz star won’t be amongst them, in a recent interview.
The magazine reports:
“He also confirmed that Tulisa Contostavlos will not return as a judge. Cowell stayed tight-lipped on who the new recruit might be – but said he or she constituted a gamble.”
News of her sacking must have come as somewhat of a surprise to Tulisa, as she recently insisted that she hadn’t been axed.
Last month, she told The Sunday People:
“I haven’t been axed from ‘The X Factor.’ I’ve contacted Simon [Cowell] and had dinner with show producer Richard Holloway and his wife a couple of weeks ago. We’re all friends and I’ve not been told that I won’t be going back.
“I’m realistic. If Simon had called to say I was sacked, I’d say. If there were issues, I’d say. I love speaking the truth as I feel like nobody else does it. I’m not one to hold back. Simon and I are cool with each other, it doesn’t all go as deep as people think.”
During the interview, Simon revealed that he plans to change ‘every aspect’ of the ITV show this year, starting with the tryouts.
In a bid to boost falling viewing numbers, he has decided to bring back the small audition rooms and hopefuls will sing in front of the judges in a more intimate setting for their first audition, with no backing track or accompaniment, only moving to a larger auditorium if they pass this stage.
Cowell admitted that press reports on bad ratings really get under his skin and drive him forward and he said:
“I’ve had times where numbers have gone down by one per cent and the headline is ‘X Factor figures down.'”
“When the numbers go down, regardless of the excuses people come up with – time-shifting or whatever – for me it’s that they don’t like the show as much as they did. My job is to try and make the show better than it was two or three years ago.”
It’s been claimed that Cowell is trying to bring back an old, familiar face to replace Tulisa and the smart money seems to be on Sharon Osbourne, who stepped down from the series in 2008.
Sharon tweeted followers back in January saying:
“To everyone who is tweeting about @TheXFactor, I would love to come back, you have to tweet uncle @SimonCowell and ask him #TweetTheTalk”
Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack would love to see her making a comeback and recently admitted:
“Sharon Osbourne is ace. She came over to do Judges Houses last year at Louis’ house and she’s just outrageously funny. She’s always coming out with the funniest things and making you laugh. She’s good – I loved her when she was on the show.”
What do you think of all the changes? Will you miss Tulisa? Leave your comments below…