Photo: Fox

It’s not just the contestants who have to suffer brutal eliminations from Fox’s X-Factor; the show’s main stars are dropping like flies too.

Earlier this week it was announced that X-Factor host Steve Jones would not be returning for season 2 of the show, though the reasons weren’t given.

Now word is both Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul have been given the axe too!

One source revealed, “They survived this year, but it didn’t really work. So they’ve figured they have an opportunity to fix it. They expected Paula to be the goofy girl, and Nicole to be the pretty one. But Paula was so bad that it made none of it work.”

According to reports, the show hasn’t lived up to Cowell’s expectations, with ratings less than what he hoped for.

An insider added, “Simon wants to take the show in a different direction.”

So with three down, and only Cowell and L.A. Reid on board, who will replace the fallen stars?

Mariah, Madonna, Elton?

Who are your picks for the show?

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