Britney Spears has confirmed that she is leaving The X Factor after just one season as a judge. "I've made the very difficult decision not to return for another season," the pop star 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."
Rumors of Spears' imminent departure from the show began in December, with an insider telling Us Weekly, "Producers wanted her for the long haul, but it isn't working." Another source added that X Factor creator and judge Simon Cowell was leading the charge to fire Spears: "He wanted crazy Britney but he got boring Britney."
Spears was added to the show in May along with fellow newcomer Demi Lovato. She inked a $15 million contract, which producers say she hasn't earned with her tepid judging. As one last source said, "They paid all that for her to say 'amazing' and offer half-claps."
During her run, Spears mentored four teen performers, with 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar coming in second place behind the season victor, Tate Stevens. "Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much!" Spears said of her mentees. "I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most."
Spears is not the only judge leaving The X Factor. L.A. Reid, who coached Stevens, also chose not to return for the third season of the show so he can focus on his day job: running Epic Records.