Demi Lovato won't be returning to The X Factor next season: the singer and budding actress will exit the show following this week's season finale, creator Simon Cowell confirmed last night. Lovato was a judge on the singing competition for two seasons.
"I started the show being a singer and a musician, and so I'm going to go back to that," Lovato said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's been really great, but I'm so excited for 2014. I'm going to dedicate it completely and entirely to music – touring and making a new album. Possibly releasing one."
Her decision didn't come as a surprise, Cowell said. "I always knew she wasn't coming back because she's touring, so I knew that," he said.
Cowell and Lovato were the only two judges from Season Two to return for Season Three, following the departures of Britney Spears and L.A. Reid. Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland joined the show as judges this season.
It's not clear yet just what Lovato's departure will mean for The X Factor, which has trailed NBC competitor The Voice in the ratings this year. Although Cowell told reporters earlier this week that he expects the show to return next year, he said he was considering changes to the format, which could include putting the show on just one night a week instead of the current two.
"The thing about these shows over the years is they started off as one-hour shows and now it's two hours or two and a half hours and then an hour show the next day. That's like watching a movie," Cowell said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's getting to be probably too much. When the shows are popular, the networks want to make them longer, and that's not necessarily a good thing."
It's also possible that Cowell will remove himself from the judges' panel. "I might have a different kind of role – we haven't discussed that yet."
The X Factor season finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. EST.