X Factor USA: Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones cut…and is Paula Abdul next?

The AXE Factor! Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones cut from TV talent show… and is Paula Abdul next
Insiders insist Scherzinger's chose to leave
Jones describes decision as 'a shame' while
Speculation Paula Abdul is also on the chopping block

She controversially replaced Cheryl Cole at the 11th hour as the fourth judge for the hotly anticipated American version of The X Factor.

But now Nicole Scherzinger is leaving the show after just one season.

It was announced today that the former Pussycat Dolls singer will not be returning to the judging panel, when the show returns in the autumn.

Relaxed: Nicole Scherzinger stepped out in New York today in a black lace top as it emerged she had been axed from the X Factor

Relaxed: Nicole Scherzinger stepped out in New York today in a black lace top as it emerged she had been axed from the X Factor

A Fox spokeswoman confirmed that Welsh host Steve Jones also won't be back for the new season.

No other details were provided as Nicole stepped out in New York City today, looking relaxed in a black lacy top, skinny black jeans and an oversized fluffy fur gilet.

Towering heels completed the look along with oversized sunglasses, and she even managed to crack a smile as she met a friend for lunch.

Cracking a smile: The singer appeared to look unconcerned as she stepped out for lunch today

Cracking a smile: The singer appeared to look unconcerned as she stepped out for lunch today

Cracking a smile: The singer appeared to look unconcerned as she stepped out for lunch today

Sheer delight: Nicole covered her modesty in the chilly temperatures with a oversize fluffy gilet

Sheer delight: Nicole covered her modesty in the chilly temperatures with a oversize fluffy gilet

Meanwhile, a report on E! seemed to suggest that it was the 33-year-old singer's decision not to return, although her representative did not immediately return calls for comment.

'She wants to focus on her music career,' a source said. 'She's spoken to Simon [Cowell] and he's given her his blessing.'

Nicole is currently rehearsing for her upcoming European tour that kicks off next month.

'X
Factor took a lot more of her time than she ever expected,' the source said. 'She didn't have any time really to work on her music. She was
doing X Factor six days a week.'

Me against the music: Some reports today state that Nicole quit the show to concentrate on her music career

Me against the music: Some reports today state that Nicole quit the show to concentrate on her music career

Me against the music: Some reports today state that Nicole quit the show to concentrate on her music career

Nicole had originally been slated to be a presenter on the U.S. version of the TV talent show, but ended up stepping onto the judging panel when original judge Cheryl Cole was ditched.

Meanwhile, according to website Deadline, judge Paula Abdul could also be in line for the axe.

A Simon Cowell insider is reported to have told the website that 'Abdul will not be returning as a judge next season.'

Deadline reports that sources say neither Jones, Scherzinger and Abdul left the show of their own accord.

One season only: Nicole was originally a presenter on the U.S. X Factor but ending up replacing departing judge Cheryl Cole

One season only: Nicole was originally a presenter on the U.S. X Factor but ending up replacing departing judge Cheryl Cole

One season only: Nicole was originally a presenter on the U.S. X Factor but ending up replacing departing judge Cheryl Cole

Out with the old: Nicole appeared alongside LA Reid, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on the show

Out with the old: Nicole appeared alongside LA Reid, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on the show

'She found out today,' a show source told E! Online. 'At this point, the only ones staying are Simon and L.A. Reid.'

Another source confirms to E! News
that both Paula and Nicole's contracts were not renewed, 'Simon wants to
take the show in a different direction,' they said.

Cowell hinted at a major shake-up on the show last month when he was
quoted as saying 'We change these shows all the time.'

The axed Steve Jones took to his Twitter account to call his departure 'a shame.'

Axed Paula Abdul is rumoured to also be ditched from the hit show, leaving just Simon and L.A. Reid

Axed Paula Abdul is rumoured to also be ditched from the hit show, leaving just Simon and L.A. Reid

'I won't be hosting next seasons X Factor which is a shame but I
can't complain as I've had a great time,' he wrote. 'Good luck to
everyone on the show.'

He gave no reason as to why he wasn't returning to the singing contest, but his manager John Ferriter told E! News that the parting is 'totally amicable.'

Last
month, a representative claimed the reports of Jones's departure were ‘a fabrication’,
however the show’s creator Simon Cowell did not exactly stick up for the
star when asked about his performance.

He told The Mirror: ‘I don’t think he did a bad job but there is a Brit limit on the show.’

The show's over: The news comes after weeks of speculation that the Welsh TV presenter may not return to his role as X Factor USA host

The show's over: The news comes after weeks of speculation that the Welsh TV presenter may not return to his role as X Factor USA host

Although the X Factor performed solidly
in the ratings, hovering around the 12 million mark, it did not attract the same kind of huge viewing figures
regularly attained by Cowell's former show American Idol.

Cowell had also recently
admitted that that he may have been overconfident when it came to the
American version of his hit show, after ratings did not reach his
expectations.

He said he became ‘a bit too cocky' last year and admitted the slumping viewing figures had 'put my ego in check'.

'A shame': Steve took to his Twitter account to announce the disappointing news

'A shame': Steve took to his Twitter account to announce the disappointing news