Sharon Osbourne has left The X Factor UK before appearing on season 15, which is currently airing, saying she’s not “needed” on the judging panel.
This move comes less than a month after she criticized the show and Simon Cowell on Howard Stern’s show, calling the contestants “little shits” and their singing “fucking karaoke.”
Deadline reports that Sharon “[signed] a three-year deal in 2016,” which would have included season 15. (The show airs Sundays on AXS TV in the United States, with new episodes airing one day after their UK premiere.)
Sharon judged seasons 1 to 4, and then returned for season 10, and most recently for seasons 13, 14, and 15.
This season of X Factor was supposed to have five judges: Simon Cowell; One Direction member Louis Tomlinson; singer Robbie Williams; his wife Adya Field, an American actor.
Only four were appearing on the show at one time, though. Sharon was scheduled to replace Robbie Williams, who will be on tour during the live shows. Her show bio says this:
“Renowned for her straight-talking, Sharon Osbourne was one of the original X Factor judges, appearing on the panel from 2004 to 2007 and then again in 2013. Of course, Sharon also has more than 30 years experience in the music industry, managing some of the biggest bands in rock.
This season, Mrs. O will only be joining the judging panel during the live shows.”
Midday Sunday, Sharon posted this to Facebook:
“After watching the new season #XFactor unfold, I’ve seen the new judges finding their rhythm and are doing brilliantly. Simon was so gracious to find me a spot on the live shows but at this point I really don’t think I’m needed and I would honestly feel odd coming in at this point. So I have decided to pass on the series this year.
I wish the show continued success and as much as I love to get my face on TV you will have to do without me this season.
Loves ya, Mrs. O.”
The X Factor’s statement was equally pleasant:
“The X Factor can confirm Sharon Osbourne has decided not to return to this year’s show. Sharon will always be a big part of The X Factor family and we wish her all the best for the future.”
What Sharon said about Simon Cowell on Howard Stern
But The Sun quoted an anonymous source as saying, “Sharon is going to try and spin this as her choice to leave, but after that disgusting interview there was no way Simon Cowell or the executives would have her back on the panel.”
What was “that disgusting interview?
Sharon appeared on Howard Stern’s show on Sept. 4, and The Sun quotes her saying of the contestants, “Those little shits. They all suck. It is like hey is this fucking karaoke or what?”
She said she didn’t appear on the audition shows because her contract was changed so “I don’t have to have those kids singing in my face.”
Sharon also discussed her salary, and criticized Simon’s decision to return to U.S. TV as a judge on the show he produces, America’s Got Talent. “Simon loves to be on TV,” she said. “And he wasn’t on TV in America and he will do whatever he has to do to get that fucking fat face on TV.”
Asked by Howard who she’d save on a boat, Sharon said it was not Cowell: “We would put a fucking brick around his neck and throw him over. I will drown you mother fucker. Absolutely…he’s gone.”
The Howard Stern recap site MarksFriggin.com summarized their conversation this way:
“Howard said he thought she was pissed at Simon Cowell but now she’s working on his show over in England. Sharon said Simon had nothing to do with that. She said she’s been doing X-Factor on and off for 15 years. She said she doesn’t need those kids singing her face so she doesn’t have to do that stuff. Howard said they don’t let her say what she wants. Sharon said it’s the end of her contract so she’s going all out.”
In 2014, Sharon told Conan O’Brien that she was over all singing shows and judging them:
“If one more person stands in front of me and sings—I tell you, I’ve had it with people singing at me. And I’ve had it with people singing on TV. And they’ve all got something wrong … they’ve all got somebody sick in hospital, and it’s like, Oh lord, shut up and sing. But then when they sing, it’s like, Please stop it. I can’t take it any more.“