FOX on Paula Abdul 'X Factor' firing: 'We decided to pull the Band-Aid off as quickly as possible'

simon-cowell-x-factor-520.jpgSo far comments related to the upheaval at "The X Factor" have been limited to canned statements from the key players. But now a FOX network executive is talking about the recent firings of Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones from the singing competition.

In an interview with EW.com, FOX head of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell explains that the decision to unload Paula Abdul was "‪an interesting call‬...‪She and Simon [Cowell] are great friends, so it was just a dynamic conversation about what's the nature of the group going to be. And I think we decided to pull the Band-Aid off as quickly as possible."‬

Darnell says the show's first season, which suffered from ratings well below the lofty expectations Cowell had set, was really an on-air tryout for the judging panel and host.

"Season 1 was basically an audition act," Darnell says. "Simon got one big new star out of it -- L.A. Reid." According to reports, Reid is signed on for Season 2.

The FOX exec says the show will fill the spots vacated by Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones in the next few months. And it's entirely possible that the program is looking toward A-List musical talent like their rivals, "American Idol" and "The Voice," have done.

Photo/Video credit: FOX