Demi Lovato is exiting Fox's The X Factor. After spending two seasons sitting alongside Simon Cowell at the judges' table, the former Disney star will refocus her priorities in the new year. "I'm leaving to start a new chapter in my life," Lovato told reporters backstage after Wednesday's performance show. "I started this show being a singer and a musician, and it's time that I go back to that. I'm so excited for 2014 because I'm going to dedicate it completely and totally to music."
While the fates of fellow mentors Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio are still undecided, Cowell hints he already has a replacement lined up to replace Lovato's spark. "There is somebody in mind who we've wanted for a while for this show that has suddenly become available," Cowell teased. "I'm definitely not going to tell you, but he's larger than life and would be spectacular."
It's still uncertain whether there will be a fourth season. Even though Cowell is confident of the show's future ("I think we'll be back," he stated), Fox has not yet made it official. Sources close to production hint the series will return, but only air one night a week. As for Cowell's involvement, when asked if he would be returning as judge, he replied: "I don't know yet. But it's definitely time for a change."
The X Factor airs its third season finale Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.