LOS ANGELES Jan 13 Pop star Britney Spears
confirmed on Friday she was leaving "The X Factor" talent show
after just one year as a celebrity judge, saying it was time to
get back to making music.
Calling it a "very difficult decision," Spears said in a
statement: "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.
"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," the "Circus" singer said.
Spears' most recent album, "Femme Fatale," was released in
Celebrity website TMZ.com reported on Friday that Spears was
in talks about a long-term residency gig in Las Vegas. The
gambling city is already host to stars like Celine Dion and
Shania Twain, who perform for about two years in one of the many
hotel and casino venues.
Spears, 31, was recruited to the Fox singing contest "The X
Factor" with a reported $15 million salary after a 14-year
singing career that made her one of the biggest pop stars of the
"X Factor" creator Simon Cowell had banked on Spears' huge
fan base and a strong curiosity factor to give his show a second
chance with audiences after a disappointing first season in 2011
that ended with the firing of two judges as well as host Steve
But audiences in fact slumped and the TV show lost about
three million regular viewers from its first season to about 9.7
million per episode in 2012. Many fans and TV critics found
Spears bland and boring.
The exit of Spears leaves Cowell searching for two new
judges to lift the "The X Factor" past its NBC rival, "The
Voice," in the ratings when it returns in September.
Judge and record producer L.A. Reid announced in December
finale that he would be returning full time to his job as the
head of Epic Records. Spears took "The X Factor" gig with singer
Demi Lovato, 20, in May 2012 to fill the judges' seats left by
Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who were both fired by
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by David Brunnstrom)