Has 'X Factor' Host Steve Jones Been Fired?
UPDATE: Steve Jones isn't going anywhere, according to his reps.
In a statement to ETonline, Jones' reps call The Daily Mirror story a complete fabrication. "There have been absolutely no conversations about Steve Jones Leaving 'The X Factor.'" Click over to ETonline for more.
From earlier: Is "X Factor" host Steve Jones the new Brian Dunkleman? Yes, if a recent report in the UK is to be believed.The Daily Mirror reports that Jones is "devastated" by news that execs have decided not to renew his contract with the show.
The Mirror quotes a show source as saying, "short of a miracle happening, it is pretty much a done deal that he will not take part next season."
Rumors about Jones' future -- or lack thereof -- with the show have been swirling for months.
The Welsh former model was originally tapped to co-host the show with Nicole Scherzinger. However, after Cheryl Cole was fired, Scherzinger was promoted to judge and Jones was left as sole host.
He got off to an inauspicious start, with most critics failing to mention him at all in their reviews of the show's premiere, and The New York Times branding him "totally irrelevant." However, back in October "X Factor" execs denied that he was out, saying "Our Welshie is staying for the long haul."
"X Factor" boss Simon Cowell is well known for shaking up things on his shows, and there have also been rumors that he's planning to replace Scherzinger with Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland. But, Scherzinger's performance at judges' table has been widely panned this season, so it's possible that instead of crossing the pond she could replace Jones instead.
Deadline reports that Scherzinger may not be back at all. When asked by reporters if she would return for Season 2 if asked, she was evasive: "I've had a lot of fun this season. The reason I took this job is I wanted to mentor, first and foremost. ... It has been very hard on me, the elimination process. It's something I could never have been prepared for."
The issue was mentioned in passing at Monday's "X Factor" press conference. When Courtney Pants joked that she'd make an excellent co-host for Jones "because we're both equally awkward," Cowell quipped "we've got to consider you.
Jones hasn't commented publicly on the report, but it looks like he'll have a nail-biting Christmas: An "X Factor" spokesman told the Mirror that "No decisions will be made about any new contracts until the new year."
"The X Factor" airs Wednesday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ET on Fox. The live two-hour finale airs Thursday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET on Fox.