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Cowell reportedly close to dumping Spears as judge on The X Factor

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LOS ANGELES -- Just days after the Season 2 finale of The X Factor comes word that Britney Spears -- the pop singer hired to bring ratings sizzle to Simon Cowell's TV singing extravaganza -- is getting the heave-ho as a judge after just one season.

According to Us Weekly, Cowell is close to canning Spears because he doesn't feel she's earned her $15-million paycheque. "He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney," Us Weekly quoted an unnamed insider as saying.

Indeed, pre-X Factor, Spears got attention for such off-hours antics as shaving her head and driving with her baby on her lap. But many critics feel she's been a bland presence on the show, repeatedly murmuring, "Amazing," when asked her opinion of acts.

Of course, it doesn't help that The X Factor's ratings have seen a double-digit decline from Season 1 on Fox. Before the show premiered, you will recall, Cowell was vowing to beat American Idol.

At the moment, only Cowell and fellow judge Demi Lovato are poised to return next fall. L.A. Reid already announced his intention to depart The X Factor and refocus on his duties as a music executive.

But a show spokeswoman said it's too early to talk about what the future holds for X Factor. "No one has discussed next year's judging panel yet," the spokeswoman told Show Tracker. "Any reports otherwise are complete speculation."

-- Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 31, 2012 D4

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