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Britney Spears Officially Not Returning for X Factor Season 3: "It's Time for Me to Get Back in the Studio"

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Britney Spears
Britney Spears Jen Lowery / Splash News

It's official, y'all!

Britney Spears is not returning for The X Factor's third season, the singer's rep confirms to E! News.

Spears made the decision not to return and has informed Fox. "I've made the very difficult decision not to return for another season," Spears says in a statement. "I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens, but it's time for me to get back in the studio. Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much! I can't wait to get back out there and do what I love most."

News of Spears' exit from the show leaked yesterday

Spears earned $15 million for just one season's worth of work, but reports indicated that Simon Cowell was unhappy with her performance on the show, reportedly calling her "boring." Sources spilled to E! News that conversations about the third season's judging panel were underway during the holidays and the pop star's return was not part of that discussion.

"It's pretty hard to quit a show you weren't being asked back to," one X Factor insider quips to E! News following Spears' statement Friday. Fox has stayed mum on the situation.

Spears' exit from the Fox reality series follows fellow judge L.A. Reid's announcement that he would be leaving after two seasons of service. There's been no word yet on Demi Lovato's future on the show.

At a recent event, Fox President Kevin Reilly said he hoped Spears would return for another season. "I think Britney did a really good job. She came on, people remain fascinated by her and always will be," he said of her performance during season two. "People got to know her a little bit, maybe some people were waiting for more drastic displays of some nature that never came."

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