Following in Cheryl”s footsteps Steve Jones “set to be axed in X Factor USA shake-up”
Swansong It is strongly rumoured Steve Jones” appearance in the X Factor USA final will be his last
It seemed like X Factor USA was going to be the start of a Simon Cowell-led mini British Invasion.
But at the end of the first season it looks he will be the last man standing, as Steve Jones is rumoured to be joining Cheryl Cole on the show”s scrapheap.
The hunky Welshman thought he was on the brink of cracking America when he was chosen to front the programme alongside Nicole Scherzinger.
He was left to fend for himself after the former Pussycat Doll was drafted in to take the place of Girls Aloud favourite Cheryl, but it seems he is going to pay the price for a string of curiously flat performances.
A source told the Daily Mirror: “Steve keeps saying that living in LA is a dream come true.
“He loves the weather and the women, and he loves working on X Factor – it’s just a shame that the US public has not warmed to him.
“He got terrible reviews from critics when he started and things haven’t got better.
“There have been mistakes and he just doesn’t seem to have the knack for dealing with contestants.
“The executives at Fox have already decided not to renew his contract and so, short of a miracle happening, it is pretty much a done deal that he will not take part next season.”
However the former T4 favourite was putting on a brave face as he attended an event promoting the show”s final episode in Los Angeles tonight.
Is that your P45 Steve glanced at a piece of paper as he larked around at the X Factor final promo event
He tried to give an energetic performance as he larked around with the judges and their acts, and was even pictured standing near the show”s svengali Simon.
Perhaps the 34-year-old felt encouraged he could save his skin after a spokesman for the show said no final decisions have been made about next season.
He said: “No discussions have been had and no decisions will be made about any new contracts until the new year.”
All to himself: It looks like the final rival to Simon”s status as the show”s resident hunk could disappear
However comments made by the show”s macho head judge at the press conference point towards a big overhaul next year, with Steve likely to be a casualty.
Simon vowed the programme will be better in its second season, and it needs to be as its 9.6 million viewers falling far short of the 20m he had boasted about.
He said: “I think I probably came here a little too cocky, but I am cocky by nature.
Guess how many people are getting the sack: Simon seemed to enjoy larking around
Cast your eyes over this lot: The line-up for the final has finally been decided but where is Steve
“I had come off the back of a massive hit in the U.K., had the adrenaline (and) couldn”t wait to put the show on here, and it is going to take a little longer than I thought.
“But with these three finalists, this will be the greatest final we have ever been in. This is $5 million talent here.
“We are going to put on a show this week. And it”s going to be better next year.”
If the Welshman wants to stand any chance of survival he will have change his ways and put in a truly sparkling performance for the show”s finale.
His cringeworthy antics have drawn the wrath of the critics, with The New York Times calling him “utterly irrelevant” and the Boston Herald saying he was “so far in the background he may as well be on another network.”
Ex-Factor Perhaps Steve can enjoy scrabble sessions with fellow flop Cheryl Cole if he gets axed
His worst moment may have been his embarrassing handling of 13-year-old Rachel Crow”s eviction.
After briefly kneeling down to try and console the wailing teenager, he was brushed away and stood awkwardly to the side as Simon and Rachel’s mother rushed on stage to console her.
He has also been ridiculed for trying to water-down his Welsh accent to try and appeal to Americans, as well as his wooden presentational style.
Perhaps ominously, Steve admitted he finds it difficult to bid contestants goodbye.
He said: “It’s hard because I’ve spent weeks and weeks with these people and then that’s it – it’s over.
“I’m not going to see them on a regular basis again or I might not ever see them again.
“It’s difficult because it abruptly comes to an end. It’s a very unnatural situation to be in, but that’s TV for you.”
The last straw Steve”s cringeworthy attempt at comforting Rachel Crow could be his final bungle on US TV
But he may regret the choice of words he used as he spoke further about how he coped with the stress, and his reaction to suggestions he was rude to people who were given the chop.
He said: “I’m there to do a job, to ask certain questions, and to move the show along.
“If I can’t do that than FOX, Fremantle and Simon will find somebody else who can.
“So it can be harsh for people to call me rude because I’m not rude and I am nice.”