Don't hold it against her.
Sources tell E! News that conversations about the third season's judging panel were underway during the holidays and the popster's return was not part of that discussion.
That wouldn't exactly be a surprise to the 31-year-old Spears, who made up her mind to jump ship before she was pushed out so she could get back to focusing on her music career and her upcoming eighth studio album, sources say.
Britney was paid a whopping $15 million for a season's worth of work, but recent reports indicated that Cowell was displeased with Spears' lackluster critiques at the judge's table, calling her "boring."
No word yet who will take the "Oops" singer's place alongside Simon and Demi Lovato as Fox and the show's producers haven't made an official announcement about her exit. The 53-year-old Cowell already told E! News in December that fellow judge L.A. Reid was planning on exiting.
But when asked whether he thought Spears would stick around during the network's TCA presentation on Tuesday, Fox president Kevin Reilly was noncommittal.
"For next year, I don't know," he said, though he was quick to add he wanted her back.
Guess she made it easy for him.
The network had no comment on Britney's exit, and neither did Cowell, whom Reilly said was currently on vacation and "hasn't talked about any of this going forward."