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'X Factor' canceled in U.S., Simon Cowell returning to U.K. edition

ConcertsSimon CowellNew ProductsThe X Factor (tv program)Cheryl ColeSteve Jones

Simon Cowell is closing up shop on the U.S. version of "The X Factor."

Fox, along with Syco and FremantleMedia, announced the show has concluded its stateside run after three seasons.

“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on ‘The X Factor’ and ‘American Idol.’ And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!),” Cowell said in a statement.

“Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank Fox for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows," Cowell added. "America, I’ll see you soon.”

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Early Friday it was announced the reality show magnate was set to return to the British version of “The X Factor” for the show’s upcoming season later this year. The news all but confirmed rampant speculation that the U.S. version was kaput. 

Cowell is returning to the competition he launched in 2004 after spending the last three years attempting to brand the U.S. version as a viable competition against his old home, “American Idol,” and ratings rainmaker, “The Voice.”

Since its inception in 2011, the show had yet to deliver on the hype Cowell had lobbed on the media while he was rolling out the show.

Unlike “Idol,” Cowell’s first stateside swing at picking music talent, “X Factor” hasn’t proved beneficial to its winners in the least bit.

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First season champ Melanie Amaro has issued only a handful of coolly received singles, and last year’s winner, Tate Stevens, “parted ways” with his label after his debut flopped. The show’s gargantuan $5-million prize was lowered to $1 million before the show’s recent third season, which was won by dreamy folk-pop duo Alex & Sierra.

Finalists such as Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony have continued to make a major splash.

The fledgling competition hasn't only struggled to produce chart stars, on-air talent has barely been able to stay put as well.

Before the first season aired, news leaked that pop singer Cheryl Cole, who left the U.K. version to help Cowell launch the U.S. edition, was sacked in favor of former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who had been tapped to co-host the show. Scherzinger and former “Idol” judge Paula Abdul lasted one season (along with the show’s host, Steve Jones). Ironically, Scherzinger headed to the U.K. version in 2012 and the act she mentored on the show, James Arthur, won that season.

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Britney Spears did a one-season stint, before exiting alongside LA Reid and co-host Khloe Kardashian. Spears and Reid were replaced by Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. Late last year, pop star Demi Lovato announced she would depart the show after two seasons.

“To all of us at Fox, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities of our time -- he’s part of our family.  A consummate showman and partner, there’s no one more passionate or creative than Simon, and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful, collaborative relationship with him over the past 12 years,” Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for Fox said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, there is no 'X Factor' U.S.A. without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life," Reilly added. "We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”  

Follow @GerrickKennedy

gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com

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ConcertsSimon CowellNew ProductsThe X Factor (tv program)Cheryl ColeSteve Jones
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