Simon Cowell axes X Factor judges in US cull


US X Factor judges Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones are out of the TV show, it emerged today.

A Fox spokeswoman said on Monday that judge and host Jones, 34, would not return for the show's second season. No other details were provided.

Former T4 presenter Jones called his departure "a shame" on Twitter and added that he could not complain, "as I've had a great time". He gave no reason why he was not returning to the singing contest.

Welshman Jones was originally slated to host X Factor alongside Scherzinger, who replaced British pop star Cheryl Cole as a judge when executive producer Simon Cowell and other producers had second thoughts about Cole joining the series.

Cowell, Paula Abdul and LA Reid served as the other judges on the show's first season.

Despite consistent viewership, X Factor has failed to achieve popularity similar to American Idol, which Cowell left to import X Factor from the UK to the US.

A spokeswoman for Scherzinger did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The second season of X Factor is set to debut later this year.