'X Factor's' Simon Cowell Talks L.A. Reid's Departure: 'I Will Miss Him' (VIDEO)

The judge and EP also addressed the FOX talent competition's ratings decline.

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Just before last Thursday’s episode of FOX’s The X Factor, judge L.A. Reid announced that he isn’t returning to the talent competition next season.

Just days later, Reid joined fellow judges Simon Cowell, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato for a finale week press conference on Monday at the show's Los Angeles soundstage with finalists Fifth Harmony, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Tate Stevens.

When asked whether they would miss Reid, Spears and Lovato simply said they would. Cowell, though, joked about the prospect of picking Reid’s replacement. “Anything Could Happen,” Cowell, who's also an executive producer on the series, smiled.

Later, when asked if we’re in for a big shift on Season 3, Cowell commented on Reid’s exit again. “I don’t sit here plotting next year,” he started.

“On a personal level, I’m going to miss L.A.,” he later added. “And on a business level, I’m going to miss him because he’s a brilliant record maker.”

For now, he says he wants to focus on this week’s season finale and “the contestants sitting at the table, because they need this. It’s a fantastic break for all of them.”

Clearly, Cowell had high hopes this year after landing the “Princess of Pop” who definitely became an attraction for viewers wanting to see what Spears was like nowadays and for her fans who just wanted to see as much as they could of their icon.

But, despite Spears and Disney Channel grad Lovato joining the judging panel and the revamped (at times over-produced) new reality-style audition episodes, ratings still took a beating with the show attracting less than eight million viewers to its semifinal elimination episode last week.

“We were expecting that there was going to be a problem with the ratings this year. Not just with us, but with everything, because it’s overkill,” Cowell explained. “There are way, way too many talent shows on.”

“I’ve done this for 10 years,” he added. “I’ve had dips over the years. We’ve come back the following years where other shows died off. We got stronger. The thing that’s most important is the legacy you leave behind each year. The legacy that we’re going to leave behind, the talent, not just with these three but also with artists like Emblem3. That’s what we’re judged on.”

The X Factor’s Season 2 finale episodes air Wednesday and Thursday at 8 PM on FOX.

How do you feel about L.A. leaving? Do you think the show's lower ratings are due to having too many talents shows on TV as Simon suggests? Weigh in below.

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