Brit­ney Spears to go in X Fac­tor shakeup

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Brit­ney Spears is out of The X Fac­tor af­ter a sea­son in which the pop star failed to de­liver a rat­ings boost for the singing con­test, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the show’s plans said Thurs­day.

Cre­ator Simon Cow­ell and fel­low pro­duc­ers are dis­cussing re­place­ments for Spears and an­other pan­elist, record pro­ducer An­to­nio (L.A.) Reid, said the per­son, who lacked author­ity to com­ment pub­licly and in­sisted on anonymity.

Reid pre­vi­ously an­nounced he was leav­ing af­ter two sea­sons. Demi Lo­vato ap­pears likely to re­turn, join­ing Cow­ell on the re­vamped panel. The show is due to re­turn in the fall.

The de­par­tures are yet an­other shakeup for The X Fac­tor, Cow­ell’s at­tempt to strike magic with a U.S. ver­sion of his suc­cess­ful U.K. se­ries. Cow­ell re­placed pan­elists Paula Ab­dul and Ni­cole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing first sea­son, and rat­ings dropped in the sec­ond sea­son.

The De­cem­ber sea­son fi­nale drew 9.7 mil­lion view­ers, com­pared to more than 12 mil­lion for the first year’s sea­so­nen­der. Although the se­ries has failed to match Cow­ell’s bold pre-de­but pre­dic­tions, and cer­tainly hasn’t eclipsed sis­ter Fox show Amer­i­can Idol, it’s helped shore up the net­work’s fall sched­ule.

Pop star Spears, how­ever, proved less than a one-sea­son won­der.

Com­bin­ing fame and a his­tory of er­ratic be­hav­iour, she was seen as a po­ten­tial spark for bet­ter rat­ings. But re­view­ers faulted her for ap­pear­ing in­ex­pres­sive to the point of bore­dom and for a repet­i­tively dull use of the word “awe­some.”

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