Credit: FOX

Although he hasn’t always been our favorite mentor... or judge... or wearer of deep V-necks, we were shocked to hear that L.A. Reid will be leaving X Factor next season.

Rumors have been circulating for weeks that Britney Spears — and her $15 million contract — may be too expensive to stick around for Season 3. Fellow first-year judge Demi Lovato has also been a candidate for dismissal. But with L.A.’s announcement, it is unclear what either newbie’s fate will be — is it possible that there may be a whole new panel next season?

Speaking of moving on, we’re wondering about Simon Cowell. In a recent press conference, Simon addressed L.A.’s departure, citing his Epic record label responsibilities as the reason for his leaving.

But here’s the thing — Simon may have similar concerns seeing as his main job is not the show. Currently, Simon co-owns Syco Entertainment (with Sony), which signs XF winners (and standout contestants) to record deals. In the press conference, he said “I've got to say, like LA, my main talent is running a record label.” And it’s true. With his help, stars like One Direction have become world-wide sensations. Unfortunately, many more have failed to fly after the show wraps.

Would more attention from the popular judge and experienced executive improve the futures of his label’s artists? The X Factor would be a strange place without Simon running things, but he left The X Factor U.K. and it is still soaring — not to mention, American Idol more than survived without him. Can you imagine The X Factor USA without Simon?

Reporting by Carita Rizzo