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Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul Are Still Friends After 'The X Factor' Exit

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Jan 31, 2012 | 11:37am EST

the x factorX Factor fans were in for a bit of a shock today upon discovering that not only would host Steve Jones not be returning to the show, but neither would Nicole Scherzinger or Paula Abdul. And your first thought was probably, "Wow, that wipes out half of the judge's panel," and your second thought was, "I hope everything's still alright between Paula and Simon Cowell." Everything, indeed, seems to be alright. Both Cowell and Abdul have since spoken out about the situation and assure fans that they're still friends. Whew!

Regarding The X Factor shakeup, Simon released the following statement:

"I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year. We had a lot of fun making the show together and importantly, we found some real talent and stars. You do develop friendships with the people you work with and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future. I'm sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next, but now is the time to thank them all for everything they did last year."

Additionally, Paula released a statement of her own with the same sort of friendly sentiment:

"Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season. I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon [Cowell] and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation. Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I've treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful."

It sounds pretty amicable, and Simon has never been one to tip-toe around drama, so if there were really some bitter feelings between the two of them, he'd come clean about it. This news comes as a relief. These two have had their playful spats before, but it would be hard to handle them full-on hating each other. Where would all that sexual tension go?Luckily, the Paula-Simon dynamic will live to see another day.

Click on the picture above for more photos of The X Factor.

Source: USA Today

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