The X Factor premieres tonight (Wednesday, September 11), which means it will also be the debut of the new judging panel. So don’t be surprised when Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio smile back from the TV rather than L.A. Reid and Britney Spears.

But why’d Britney ever leave in the first place? Returning X Factor judge Simon Cowell recently shelved the snark and shared the real reason why with Ellen DeGeneres.

“She was fine; I just think she found it very uncomfortable,” Simon practically purred in his English accent.

“Yeah, she’s not a big talker!” Ellen chimed in.

“I didn’t realize that,” Simon said with a slight chuckle. “I’ve never booked someone who couldn’t talk, which is a bit of a problem.”

“She wasn’t comfortable being negative,” Simon continued. “She didn’t like it when the contestants spoke back to her. She was just uncomfortable.”

Despite Britney’s lack of interest as a judge, Simon says “I liked her” but is looking forward to working with the new additions to the judging panel. And if you’re worried that Simon being on an all-female panel will pose a problem, never fear. “I like working with girls,” Simon told Ellen. Uh oh. Hope having a baby boy (reportedly!) won’t be an issue...

Source: YouTube


Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!