Demi Lovato will officially be reprising her role as a judge on The X Factor. Fox has announced the singer and former Disney Channel star will be returning to The X Factor's judging panel for its upcoming third season. "I am so excited to return as a judge and mentor on The X Factor," Lovato said in a statement. "Last season was an unbelievable experience and I really enjoyed developing personal relationships with the contestants and the panel. I look forward to taking my previous experience and applying it to make this season even better!"
Lovato was the youngest judge on the show and mentored the "Young Adults" category last season. Although most of her team got wiped out fairly early in the competition, Lovato's artist Cece Frey finished in sixth place. "I couldn't be happier that Demi wants to come back this year," said The X Factor creator and fellow judge Simon Cowell. "She's a superstar in her own right and was a fantastic mentor last year. Even though she can be really, really annoying -- I truly enjoyed working with her and so did the artists. I'm especially pleased she's back, even during her world tour!"
Cowell dodged questions about Lovato's status on the third-season judging panel in early December, saying she was "fun and tough" but sometimes "bitchy and unpleasant" at the same time. Added Fox reality chief Mike Darnell, "We couldn't be more excited for Demi to return to The X Factor next season. She's an incredible mentor, an insightful judge and we know she'll bring her amazing energy, enthusiasm and charm to the panel. She also isn't afraid to stand up to Simon or say what's on her mind -- and we can't wait to see more of that honesty and fun next year."
Trish Kinane, executive producer of The X Factor explained in a statement that Lovato is extremely popular with fans and did an "impressive job" identifying new talent and mentoring her artists. Two-time judge LA. Reid announced in December he won't be returning for The X Factor's next season, while second-season judge Britney Spears confirmed she had "made the very difficult decision" not to take on another edition of the reality singing competition in January. According to reports, both parties opted to quit the show before Fox could fire them.
"It was obvious a while before the end of last season that [Britney] and LA. Reid weren't going to make the cut this time and they both knew that," a source told E! News. The X Factor's second season crowned country artist Tate Stevens champion over Carly Rose Sonenclar and the group Fifth Harmony.