LOS ANGELES — Just days after the Season 2 finale of “The X Factor” comes word that Britney Spears — the pop singer hired to bring ratings sizzle to Simon Cowell’s TV singing extravaganza — is getting the heave-ho as a judge after just one season.
According to Us Weekly, Cowell is close to canning Spears because he doesn’t feel she’s earned her $15 million paycheck. “He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney,” Us Weekly quoted an unnamed insider as saying.
Indeed, pre-“X Factor,” Spears got attention for such off-hours antics as shaving her head and driving with her baby on her lap. But many critics feel she’s been a bland presence on the show, repeatedly murmuring, “Amazing,” when asked her opinion of acts.
Of course, it doesn’t help that “The X Factor’s” ratings have seen a double-digit decline from Season 1 on Fox. Before the show premiered, you will recall, Cowell was vowing to beat “American Idol.”
At the moment, only Cowell and fellow judge Demi Lovato are poised to return next fall. L.A. Reid already announced his intention to depart “The X Factor” and refocus on his duties as a music executive.
But a show spokeswoman said it’s too early to talk about what the future holds for “X Factor.” “No one has discussed next year’s judging panel yet,” the spokeswoman told Show Tracker. “Any reports otherwise are complete speculation.”
Haitian president joins Iglesias for benefit duet
ALTOS DE CHAVON, Dominican Republic — Haiti’s president performed a duet late Friday with Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias in a celebrity-studded concert in the Dominican Republic to help raise money for impoverished children.
Among the attendees were Dominican fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera and U.S. journalist Barbara Walters.
Haitian President Michel Martelly, better known by his stage name of “Sweet Micky,” thanked Iglesias for dedicating a concert of his “1 World Tour 2012″ to Haiti’s children. The proceeds will go to the Pink and White Foundation, a charity run by Martelly and his wife, Sophia.
The duet represented Martelly’s first performance outside Haiti since he was elected in May 2011. He was previously known for often bawdy performances before becoming president.
“I’ve been a singer my whole life, but I never thought I’d be here next to you, singing,” Martelly told Iglesias.
Between laughter, jokes and hugs, the two men sang “Corazon, Corazon” in Spanish and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” in English.
Iglesias had visited Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake that officials say killed an estimated 300,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
“That’s why the Dominicans are here today, with love, so that your children will be taken care of,” Iglesias said. “This will show you, my president, the love of the Dominicans for Haitians.”
An estimated 5,000 people filled an open-air amphitheater in the Altos de Chavon, a high-end residential complex east of the capital of Santo Domingo. Ticket prices ranged from $50 to $1,000.
McConaughey, wife add child No. 3
It’s baby No. 3 for Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves, according to reports out Friday.
The tot — supposedly a girl, though that’s unconfirmed — was born in the morning in a hospital in Austin, Texas, TMZ reported. The newborn joins 4-year-old brother Levi and 2-year-old big sister Vida.
McConaughey, 43, and Alves, 29, were wed in June in Austin.
“We decided to embrace the ritual of marriage as an opportunity and adventure we’ll take together,” the actor told People at the time.
In front of a local pastor and a monk, the couple exchanged hushed vows, whispering them to one another without a bridesmaid or groomsman.
The curious should keep an eye on McConaughey’s Twitter account, where on July 4 the couple announced that the baby was on the way.
— From news service reports