Well, this is the best "X Factor" news I've heard since Simon Cowell fired Steve Jones: Cantankerous and controversial L.A. Reid, the show's lone remaining cast member from Season 1 (besides Simon, of course), has confirmed that he is leaving the show. Next week's December 20 finale will be his last day on "The X Factor."
"I have decided that I will not return to 'The X Factor' next year," L.A. told "Access Hollywood" this Thursday. "I have to go back, and I have a company [Epic Records] to run that I've kind of neglected, and it saddens me a little bit--but only a little bit."
I'm not even saddened a little bit, personally. Despite L.A.'s impressive music-biz résumé (before he joined "The X Factor" and Epic, he co-founded LaFace Records and was the chairman/CEO of the Island Def Jam Music Group...though it should be mentioned that he once dropped Lady Gaga), he really didn't bring much to "The X Factor" except a bad attitude. Most of the time he looked like he'd rather be sitting in a dentist's chair than behind the judging desk, and that showed in his rude interactions with both the contestants and his fellow judges.
Here are just five notable examples of L.A.'s more facepalm-worthy gaffes during his two seasons on the show:
--In Season 1, he harshly criticized teen contestant Drew Ryniewicz for performing an "age-inappropriate" song. That song was "Skyscraper," by teen artist (and future "X Factor" judge!) Demi Lovato.
--This season, when he learned he'd been assigned the Over-25's category, he literally slammed down the phone in disgust. Then, at the Judges' Houses, he told his contestants--right to their shocked and sad faces--that he was disappointed to be stuck with them. Way to boost your team's morale, L.A.!
--He forgot the name of his own contestant, Jason Brock, live on the air. Oops.
--He often made horrifically inappropriate song choices for his contestants, culminating in his busing of former Season 2 frontrunner Vino Alan, when he changed Vino's song at the last minute to "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" (despite Vino's desire to cover the much more suitable Alex Clare or Kings Of Leon). Vino plummeted from third place to the bottom of the leaderboard that week, and he was eliminated.
--This week, L.A. compared bratty boy band Emblem3 to THE BEATLES. If he really believes that, then he isn't qualified to work in Epic Records' mailroom. Seriously.
So who should replace L.A. in Season 3? (Yes, there is going to be a Season 3.) Hey, I hear Adam Lambert and Ben Folds are available; just putting that out there. Or maybe Paula Abdul or Cheryl Cole can be reinstated. But regardless of who it is, I hope it's someone with better manners, a deeper appreciation for the Fab Four, and a less ageist outlook.
But I will kind of miss L.A.'s animated-GIF-worthy head wobble...
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