Ever since Sharon Osbourne tweeted in August 2012 that she wanted to go back to being a judge on ITV's "The X Factor" U.K., British tabloids have been reporting that Tulisa Contostavlos is going to leave the show in 2013 and she will be replaced by Osbourne. In articles dated Feb. 22, 2013, The Sun and the Daily Mirror are reporting that Contostavlos is definitely going to be fired from "The X Factor" U.K., even though an official announcement hasn't been made yet.
Representatives for "The X Factor" U.K. refuse to confirm or deny the rumors about the show's judging panel for 2013, but for now the representatives are only telling the media that decisions are going to be made.
Simon Cowell is an executive producer of "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" shows worldwide. He has already confirmed that he will not be going back to "The X Factor" U.K. as a judge as long as he is committed to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. (The live episodes for both shows take place during the same months.)
What's amusing about these latest tabloid articles is that they claim that Contostavlos won't find out that she's been fired until weeks from now, as if she won't find out from these tabloid reports. That's assuming that it's true that she will be leaving "The X Factor" this year. In January 2013, Contostavlos went on Twitter to vehemently deny a Daily Star Sunday report that she is leaving "The X Factor" because she dislikes fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger.
According to the Daily Mirror, the real problem is that Contostavlos' job performance in 2012 was considered disappointing. She was reportedly tardy on several occasions, and the highest-ranking contestant in her mentor group was Ella Henderson, who came in sixth place that year.
An unnamed source told the Daily Mirror: “Simon [Cowell] has always liked to change things every year and Tulisa is going to pay the price for that. She wasn’t as committed last year as when she won with Little Mix in 2011 and someone has to exit to freshen the series up.”
British tabloids have been hit or miss when it comes to reporting accurate information about which judges are leaving or staying on "The X Factor" U.K.
The tabloids correctly predicted that Kelly Rowland would last just one season with "The X Factor" U.K., but they were wrong about Gary Barlow quitting the show after one season. He signed on for his second season in early 2012. Barlow did admit to the media that he came close to quitting after his first season with the show, but he decided to renew his "X Factor" contract for a second season.
However, for several months, British tabloids have been way off the mark in publishing false reports that former "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole is going to return to "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel, even though Cole has said in many interviews and in her tell-all memoir "Cheryl" that she won't go back to being an "X Factor" judge.
Robbie Williams and Rita Ora are other celebrity names in the tabloid rumor mill about who might become an "X Factor" judge in 2013, but neither star is likely to want the job, due to their busy schedules. And with just one album released so far, Ora is too inexperienced to be a permanent "X Factor" judge. She was a guest judge on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012. Williams has been a guest mentor on the show multiple times.
According to British tabloids, Scherzinger is the "X Factor" U.K. judge who is most likely to return, Louis Walsh may be fired (the tabloids say that about him every year), and Barlow may quit, but ITV doesn't want Barlow to leave and may change Barlow's mind with a hefty salary raise. Contostavlos has been singled out by the tabloid media as "The X Factor" U.K. judge who is most likely to be fired from the show this year.
In late 2012, British tabloids published reports that former Spice Girls singer Melanie Brown (also known as Mel B) was in talks to leave her judging post on "The X Factor" Australia to become a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. (Brown was a guest judge on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012.)
In the end, Brown left "The X Factor" Australia to become a judge on "America's Got Talent" as the replacement for Osbourne, who quit "America's Got Talent" in 2012 after a five-year stint with the show.
An unnamed source told The Sun that Cowell wants Walsh (who has been with "The X Factor" U.K. since its 2004 debut) to continue to be an "X Factor" judge: "He will fight tooth and nail to keep him on the show. It hasn’t reached the shouting stage yet — but if it does, Simon is prepared for the fight.”
By contrast, it's been reported that Cowell has wanted to fire Barlow since late 2011, but Cowell was overruled by ITV bosses. Barlow admitted to the media in 2012 that he and Cowell have been feuding over Barlow's role on the show. Cowell and Barlow have had a tense relationship ever since the early '90s, when Cowell refused to sign Barlow's singing group Take That because he thought Barlow was overweight and did not look like a pop star back then. Barlow has announced that there will be a new Take That album in late 2013 and a Take That tour in 2014, but he has not specified how those plans will affect whether or not he stays on "The X Factor."