It’s the classic chicken and egg story: Did Britney Spears quit “The X Factor” because she was going to get fired or was she going to get fired because she was planning on quitting?
According to TMZ, the pop superstar will not be returning to the reality singing show as a judge for its third season, and “it’s entirely her doing.”
Sources who spoke to the celebrity news site said Spears wants to focus on her music instead of helping struggling artists kick off their careers.
One of the contestants that Spear’s mentored, 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar, made it to the finals of the show but was not able to take home the main prize.
Spears is reportedly in the studio working on her eighth album, with a little help from music heavy hitters like Will.i.am and producer Hit-Boy, who contributed to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s "N****s in Paris."
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According to the source, it’s nothing personal with any of the other judges but she wants to return her focus to music:
"Britney loves Simon, she likes Demi Lovato, but her thing is music."
There’s no doubt that making music is important to the “Hold It Against Me” singer, but there seem to be a few shades of gray when it comes to whether she was going to be fired.
Right before the New Year, Us Weekly reported that Simon Cowell was planning to fire the pop phenomenon.
Spears' choice to quit also seems sudden considering she had said in interview that she would be returning for another season.
"Britney will get the boot," Us Weekly quoted an "insider" saying. "Producers wanted her for the long haul, but it isn't working."
Spears raked in an astonishing $15 million for her appearance on the show, with many believing that she did not earn her keep on “The X Factor.”
“They paid all that for her to say 'amazing' and offer half-claps," the source explained to the magazine.