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After months of speculation and derision, controversial "X Factor USA" host Steve Jones has at long last confirmed--via his Twitter account--that he will not be back on Fox for a second season this fall. "I won't be hosting next season's XFactor which is a shame but I can't complain as I've had a great time," he tweeted Monday afternoon. "Good luck to everyone on the show."
I can't say this is a massive shock. Rumors of Steve's exit swarmed before Season 1 was even over, and he was never a hit with viewers. While Steve seemed like a perfectly pleasant young man in person, and on "Ellen," during his "X Factor" hosting tenure he sometimes came across as rude and unlikable, causing disgruntled reality fans to develop new respect for Ryan Seacrest (or even for Carson Daly!). Steve always seemed so concerned with preventing the show from running long and preempting "Bones," he came across as utterly un-empathetic, almost autistically unable to get an emotional gauge on certain onstage situations. And on a show with many young, sensitive contestants who needed to be handled with care, this quickly became an image problem.
He interrupted Paula Abdul when she was trying to pep-talk fallen tween contestants the Brewer Boys. He coldly ignored the tears of eliminated kiddy act InTENsity. He rudely told Lakoda Rayne, "The dream is over." He shooed away Marcus Canty when Marcus was trying to console sobbing castoff Rachel Crow. It seemed that Steve, although a very nice guy offstage, just couldn't get into the groove as a relatable host. Even Simon Cowell, for all intents and purposes Steve's boss, made it no secret that he didn't like the man, so it was obvious that Steve was doomed.
Plus, he was awkward.
I feel bad for Steve, who was the brunt of many jokes and the target of much scorn throughout "The X Factor's" first U.S. season, and I wish him well--but I totally think his departure is the best thing for the show. So now, with Steve officially out, it will be interesting to see who will take his place. Is Brian Dunkleman available? (Of course he is.) What about backstage correspondent Jim Cantiello? Or what about the OTHER Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols legend and Los Angeles DJ, who I'd hoped was the Steve Jones the show's press release was referring to in the first place when the cast was first announced?
Or hey, how about this guy?
Watch this space for news on Steve Jones's Season 2 replacement.