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Paula Abdul, two others go, as Cowell wields axe at troubled X Factor

Judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones have been all fired from Simon Cowell's troubled American X Factor show , it was reported today.

Cowell: "Refused to fire himself.:

The Contra Costa Times said the canned judges "got off lightly, as Simon Cowell initially wanted to behead them."

It had been suggested Fox TV and X Factor producers wanted to make a clean sweep, but the Times commented, "not really a clean sweep, since Cowell keeps refusing to fire himself".

A Fox spokesman confirmed the departures of Scherzinger and Jones, but could not immediately confirm Abdul's departure.

Jones confirmed his exit on Twitter.

Scherzinger, the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, replaced original X Factor judge Cheryl Cole, who was dismissed from the show last May.

The show never lived up the expectations of creator Cowell who hoped it would beat American Idol as the country's top-rated show,

In fact at roughly 12,5 million viewers, it got only half "Idol's" ratings in its first season, which ended in December. X Factor hopes to have replacement talent locked in by April, said the Times, quoting an insider.

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Noel Young

Former editor of Sunday Mail in Glasgow and Group Managing editor of Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Now Boston-based US correspondent for UK newspapers including Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Post. Material also syndicated by Edit International in Florida. US editor for The Drum.

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