Is Steve Jones leaving ‘The X Factor’?


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Is Steve Jones the new Brian Dunkleman? Rumors have been circulating that Jones — the tall, dark and British host of Fox’s ‘The X Factor’ — won’t be returning for the show’s second season.

A report in England’s Daily Mirror cites unnamed sources claiming ‘terrible reviews’ and failure to connect with the show’s U.S. audience are behind the decision not to bring him back. The paper also hints that Nicole Scherzinger, who had originally been tapped to cohost with Jones before being upgraded to the judges table, would take over his duties. That would put Jones in the club of short-lived hosts, along with Dunkleman, ‘American Idol’s’ first-season cohost.


A spokesperson for ‘The X Factor’ didn’t exactly confirm or deny the rumors, giving Show Tracker the following statement: ‘Absolutely no discussions have been had and no decisions will be made about any contracts until the New Year.’

Should Jones really be leaving the show, it might not be that surprising. When The Times spoke with the British import before the launch of the singing competition series, he was cautious about assuming he’d have any long-term future on the show.

‘I definitely want to do more stuff over here,’ he said. ‘But a little bit at a time. My main concern at the moment is ‘X Factor.’ If I do come back next year, then I’ll think about other projects .... But I do want to keep my fingers and knees deep in British pies.’

As the show has unfolded since its September debut, Jones hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself in the eyes of viewers with his hosting style. Earlier in the season, he used the poor choice of words, ‘The dream is over,’ when girl group Ladoka Rayne was eliminated; the incident prompted a group member to grab the microphone and proclaim otherwise.

According to Jones’ publicist, rumblings of an exit are all speculation: ‘The Mirror story is a fabrication that we would have corrected had we been called for comment. There have been absolutely no conversations about Steve Jones Leaving ‘The X Factor.’ Steve is very happy with the outcome of this season and he looks forward to being back and discovering more talent in the new year.’



Complete coverage of ‘The X Factor’ on Showtracker

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— Yvonne Villarreal