After a few weeks of speculation regarding Britney Spears’ future on “The X Factor,” the pop star has officially confirmed she has decided to exit the Fox singing competition after one season.
“I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season. I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens but it’s time for me to get back in the studio,” Spears said in a statement released to Pop & Hiss on Friday. “Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much! I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love most.”
Spears’ exit comes after record exec L.A. Reid announced he would be departing the show to turn his attention to running Epic Records, where a number of the show’s contestants, including inaugural winner Melanie Amaro, have secured deals.
Her exit frees up the singer to return to music, which is expected to include a new album and tour this year. Spears’ last album was 2011’s “Femme Fatale.”
Earlier this week, Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters at the TV press tour in Pasadena that he believed Spears did a good job on the show, and that the network would welcome her back for the show’s third season.
“I thought it went very well,” he said. “People are fascinated with her and always will be. She’s just an interesting figure who’s lived a unique life, and I thought she brought some of that. And people got to know her a little bit.
“Maybe some people were waiting for more drastic displays – those did not happen,” Reilly continued. “The ratings were higher last year, but I think the show was better [this season]. She fit in on that panel nicely.”
While Fox hasn’t officially announced the departure, the network has been informed of her decision.
Spears was paid a reported $15 million for her tenure on the show where she mentored a group of teenage contestants including runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar.