The future of Nicole Scherzinger as a judge and mentor on The X Factor looks in doubt after reports circulated that she is ready to begin focusing on her music career again. Scherzinger's agent was probably delighted to tie up a guest judging deal with the ITV singing show in 2010 though she's since outgrown the show and is now considered the most popular member of the panel.

Nicole ScherzingerNicole Scherzinger Is Said To Be Leaving The X-Factor After The Current Series

According to the Daily Star, Scherzinger made the decision months ago though kept it a secret until Sharon Osbourne revealed the news in her new autobiography published last Thursday. 

"We were drained, all four of us, and began talking about what we were going to do next year," wrote Sharon, "Gary planned to go back on tour and work on a new album because that's what he does, that's his day job.It was the same for Nicole; she was going back into the studio and then on tour. They were both leaving to get back to their lives. Louis too had decided it was time to bow out."

The book may have been the reason behind Barlow confirming his intention to leave the show during Saturday's first live show.

Gary BarlowGary Barlow Has Confirmed He Is Leaving The X-Factor

In her book Unbreakable, Sharon says: "As Louis, Gary, Nicole and I agreed in the bar, whether we are there or not, The X Factor will go on without us, giving hope and entertainment and allowing real talent to emerge."

Nicole helped form One Direction in 2010 and mentored last year's winner James Arthur. 

On Sunday, Sharon's singer Lorna Simpson was the first to be voted off the competition following a sing-off with Shelley Smith. The judge abstained from voting, leaving Barlow, Scherzinger and Louis Walsh to decide. 

Lorna SimpsonLorna Simpson Was The First To Be Eliminated from The X-Factor

The former Pussycat Dolls singer appears to have the strongest hand in this year's competition, particularly in the favorite Tamera Foster and the highly regarded Abi Alton, who stunned the judges with a piano rendition of Bon Jovi's biggest hit Livin' On A Prayer on Sunday. 

The X-Factor continues next Saturday (October 19, 2013) with a 'Love and Heartbreak' theme. Both Katy Perry and Robin Thicke perform on Sunday's results show, when girl group Miss Dynamix are likely to be favorites for elimination.