Simon Cowell has admitted he wanted to keep Paula Abdul on US X Factor.
The media mogul spoke to Extra following the shake-up that has seen judges Paula and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones leave the talent show, and said he wished Paula could have stayed.
"I would've liked to have kept her. She was very gracious and I said that to her. She understands it's business; it's never personal," he said.
The departure of the three stars is thought to have been part of a shake-up on the series because it failed to achieve the ratings that had been expected.
When asked why things hadn't worked out, Cowell told Extra: "It's only because I opened my big mouth and said we were going to get 20 million [viewers]. If I hadn't said that, everybody would be saying the show was a huge success."
Simon and record producer LA Reid will now be the only judges returning for the second season. Replacements for Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones have not been announced and Simon has rubbished rumours that he has offered Beyonce a fat paycheck to step in.