The rumors have been swirling and now MTV News are confirming it — Britney Spears will not return for a second season on the X Factor. Siting “sources close to the show,” the pop star has apparently quit the production in advance of them asking her to leave.

Spears signed on for a whopping $15 million paycheck and her early appearance on pre-taped audition episodes of the show gave viewers a look at an insightful, and at times plainspoken, side of herself from the judge’s table. However, as this season of the X Factor slipped into live shows her performance was rated by many as falling flat. Spears was lambasted for offering little constructive criticism and often looking wooden, or at best perplexed, while judging contestants.

While the network brass at Fox have nothing but praise for Spears, ratings were likely a factor for the production. Spears’ presence was expected to goose the flailing reality singing show’s viewership numbers after a disappointing first season, but the second season ended up fairing even worse in the ratings.

Other outlets report that Spears will be working on her next album, which will not allow her enough time to return as a judge.

Judge LA Reid also previously announced his departures from the X Factor after this season — leaving the brains behind the show, Simon Cowell, and Demi Lovato currently up at the judge’s table for the third season. As for season two’s contestants, Emblem3 announced yesterday that they have signed a record deal with Columbia Records & Syco Music. The breakout trio were mentored by Simon Cowell on the show.

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local


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