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Simon Cowell dishes on why Britney Spears left The X Factor

Simon Cowell has always been known for telling it like it is. On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the British judge gossips about why Britney Spears left The X Factor.

Besides blabbing about his pregnancy news, Simon Cowell had a pretty chatty sit-down interview with Ellen DeGeneres. He not only talked about his personal life, but also gave the inside scoop on why Britney Spears left The X Factor after one season.

In a pretaped interview to air on Tuesday, Cowell told DeGeneres that the show did not renew her $15 million contract for a second season because she was “very uncomfortable” on the talent competition show.

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However, Spears was singing a different tune in January.

She released a statement saying, “I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season. I’ve 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.”

Although the pop star is currently shooting a video for her song “Work Bitch” to support her upcoming album, it’s pretty clear from Cowell’s perspective that the “Toxic” singer was fired.

He told DeGeneres, “I kind of booked someone who couldn’t talk, which is a bit of a problem when you want someone to judge.”

The father-to-be continued, “She wasn’t comfortable being negative, she didn’t like it when the contestants spoke back to her, so she was just uncomfortable. I liked her. So we decided to change it this year and I thought I’ll work with three girls because I like working with girls.”

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Cowell also admitted he was swept up in the hiring craze of high-profile judges like Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez.

“I think if I’m being honest with you, Ellen, there was a time I think everyone was trying to up themselves in terms of who could find the biggest known star to be on a panel. And in terms of a pop singer? Jennifer Lopez and the other one on The Voice… I can’t remember. Blondie. Christina. And we said, ‘We’ll take Britney’. She was fine, but I think she found it very uncomfortable,” revealed the British star.

The truth might hurt a bit for Spears, but she’s going to do just fine without Simon.

The third season of The X Factor debuts on Sept. 11 on Fox with Cowell, returning judge Demi Lovato and new judges Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland.

Photo credit: Nikki Nelson/

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