Kelly Rowland will not be returning as a judge on the new series of The X Factor, the singer’s spokesperson has confirmed.
The former Destiny’s Child star had long been seen as a doubt for the 2012 series of the talent show but today a statement ended speculation.
"We can officially confirm today that Kelly Rowland has decided not to return as a judge again for this year's UK X Factor,” said Rowland’s spokesperson.
"Global commitments coupled with the show's increasing demands this year mean that, despite weeks of deliberation with the show, Kelly has not been able to agree a deal that fits into her autumn/winter schedule, so sadly cannot accept a place on the 2012 panel.
"Kelly thoroughly enjoyed her role as a judge on the show, but felt that if there couldn't be a workable solution to scheduling issues so that she could effectively juggle her other commitments then she couldn't wholeheartedly commit to the show this year," the statement continued.
Rowland herself thanked X Factor boss Simon Cowell for bringing her to the series: "I love the UK and being part of the show last year. Mentoring the girls was such an incredible experience I will never forget. I would like to thank Simon for the great opportunity and asking me to be a judge last season."
Gary Barlow is the only one of last year’s panelists to have officially confirmed his return, although Tulisa looks likely to be involved and Louis Walsh has consistently told the press he will be back too.
Former X Factor judge Dannii Minogue is widely rumoured to be Rowland’s replacement, although Walsh recently name-checked several other possible contenders.
"[There are] five people that they’re looking at in terms of a replacement for Kelly,” he told the Irish Herald. “I’ve worked with Nicole [Scherzinger] and Katy [Perry] before and I would love to work with them again, they were fantastic.
"[Ex-Spice Girl] Mel B has done the X Factor Australia and could easily do it in Britain as she knows the format so well. Anastacia has sold millions of records and is a big star and I would give anything to work with [former judge] Sharon [Osbourne] again."