Simon Cowell Confirms Demi Lovato Quit The X Factor: "I Always Knew She Wasn't Coming Back"

Singer says she plans to spend 2014 "touring and making a new album"

By Zach Johnson Dec 19, 2013 1:04 PMTags
Paulina Rubio, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Simon Cowell, X FactorRay Mickshaw / FOX

It's official: Demi Lovato will not be returning for another season of The X Factor. Show creator and fellow judge Simon Cowell confirmed the news on Wednesday, Dec. 18, hours after E! News and other outlets reported that the "Made in the USA" singer would be leaving the Fox talent competition.

"I always knew she wasn't coming back because she's touring, so I knew that," Cowell told reporters.

Indeed, Lovato will kick off her Neon Lights tour on Feb. 9, 2014, in Vancouver. She'll be joined by three opening acts with U.S. and U.K. X Factor ties: Cher Lloyd, Fifth Harmony and Little Mix.

Lovato joined the show at the beginning of its second season in 2012. Previous X Factor judges include Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger and Britney Spears.

"I started the show being a singer and a musician, and so I'm going to go back to that," Lovato said of her departure. "It's been really great, but I'm so excited for 2014. I'm going to dedicate it completely and entirely to music—touring and making a new album. Possibly releasing one."

The X Factor has yet to be renewed for a fourth season, and it's unclear if freshman judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio would join Cowell for a second go-round. "There haven't been any conversations about judges next year," a source close to the show previously told E!'s Marc Malkin.

Cowell, however, has said the show will return for a fourth season and that he'll likely have a new role.

Asked what she'll miss most about her X Factor tenure, Lovato told reporters Wednesday, "Being able to sit next to Kelly and Paulina and see them twice a week, and also helping mentor the contestants."

Lovato's final two contestants, Rion Paige and Ellona Santiago, were eliminated on Dec. 5. The top three acts—Alex & Sierra, Jeff Gutt and Carlito Olivero—vied for a recording contract with Syco/Sony Music during the Wednesday, Dec. 18, finals.

The season three finale of The X Factor airs on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. on Fox.