Paula Abdul has announced she is leaving X Factor USA after one season as a judge.

Paula announced her exit hot on the heels of the departures of X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.

That leaves only executive producer Simon Cowell and Antonio “LA” Reid on the judging panel. There was no immediate word from producers on who might fill the open seats.

Paula said in a statement she has learned that “business decisions often… override personal considerations” and that she and Cowell remain friends.

Former T4 presenter Steve, 34, called his departure “a shame” on Twitter and added that he could not complain, “as I’ve had a great time”. He gave no reason why he was not returning to the singing contest.

Welshman Jones was originally slated to host X Factor alongside Scherzinger, who replaced British pop star Cheryl Cole as a judge when Simon and other producers had second thoughts about Cheryl joining the series.

Despite respectable ratings, X Factor has failed to achieve popularity similar to American Idol, which Simon left to import X Factor from the UK to the US.