Another one bites the dust...
The 25-year-old is leaving the show to concentrate on her own career as her legal battles with Jay Z‘s record label Roc Nation comes to a close, but the singer’s departure must come as a special blow to Simon considering her international super-star status.
A source spoke to The Sun: ‘Losing Rita is a huge blow – she’s one of the biggest stars in the country and Simon wanted her to return.
‘She was very keen to do the show but at the end of the day it didn’t work out with her other commitments around the world in music and acting.
‘It means we’re going to have to go through the biggest shake-up in the history of The X Factor, but maybe it will turn out for the best.’
This year has seen nearly all X Factor frontline staff leave after their ratings plunged to an all-time low in the last series. Presenting duo Olly Murs and Caroline Flack dropped out, and Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw quit.
In another shock twist, Cheryl also quit. Though this has meant her long-time rival and public spat-partner Louis Walsh can return, along with Dermott O’Leary to present.The other positions are anyone’s guess, though Louis Walsh has said in what seems like every single interview that he wants to return with series original Sharon Osborne.
With filming beginning for the auditions in a matter of weeks, this is the biggest stumble the music monolith has ever felt. After the disappointing returns from last series, maybe this is the push the show needs to find it’s all-star feet again.