Belfast Telegraph

Simon Cowell has the Axe Factor as mogul dumps celebrity judges from US show

By Adam Sherwin

Simon Cowell confirmed his reputation as television's most ruthless power broker after dismissing the celebrity judges and host of the American version of the 'X Factor' following the show's disappointing ratings.

Judge Nicole Scherzinger was shown the door along with Welsh presenter Steve Jones. Paula Abdul was also been dispensed with -- sources indicated -- during Cowell's night of the long knives.

The cull was agreed at a London post-mortem into the Fox series held by Cowell and his most loyal "brains trust", with the 'X Factor' creator ruling that the show needed a "bigger celebrity" on the panel, according to 'The Hollywood Reporter'. By Monday evening, Jones and Scherzinger had been informed of their fate.

Yet the blame for the show's relative failure may lie with Cowell himself. He promised to deliver 20 million viewers but fell eight million short, hitting revenues at Fox.

A rival talent show 'The Voice', in which the judges aren't allowed to see the singing candidates, generated similar ratings but was deemed a success as expectations were much lower. (© Independent News Service)

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