Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM ET
The recent string of "X Factor" firings didn't come directly from show creator Simon Cowell. In fact, if the decisions had been up to him instead of network bigwigs, one familiar face would still be part of the talent competition.
Cowell revealed that detail, as well as the fact that he takes the blame for the firing fallout, in an interview with "Extra."
"You know, it was fairly straight what (the network) wanted," Cowell said of talks with FOX officials. "We were told it had to happen straight away."
"It," of course, being the rapid-fire terminations of host Steve Jones, judge Nicole Scherzinger and Cowell's fellow former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul. As for the latter, Cowell now admits he wanted to keep his longtime pal on the show.
"I would have liked to have kept her," he said.
And Cowell might have been able to, if only he hadn't set such high expectations for the show before it ever aired.
"Most things did work (on the show)," he revealed. "It was only because I opened my big mouth at the beginning and said we were going to get 20 million (viewers). If I hadn't said that, everybody would be saying the show, as a new show, was a huge success."
And Abdul, as well as the others, might still have a job.
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