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Why Demi Lovato is leaving 'The X Factor' and what it means for next season

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Dec 19, 2013 11:05 AM EST

Demi Lovato has released a preview of her new song "Heart By Heart" from the upcoming film soundtrack "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones." (Photo : Reuters)

Simon Cowell confirmed last night that Demi Lovato will judge her last show this week on The X Factor's season finale, according to Rolling Stone. She has been a judge on the singing competition for the past two seasons.

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"I started the show being a singer and a musician, and so I'm going to go back to that," Lovato said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's been really great, but I'm so excited for 2014. I'm going to dedicate it completely and entirely to music - touring and making a new album. Possibly releasing one."

Cowell was not surprised by her decision to leave. "I always knew she wasn't coming back because she's touring," he told them.

As the RS notes, Cowell and Lovato were the only returning judges from Season Two to come back for Season Three after Britney Spears and L.A. Reid left. Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland joined on as judges this season.

Time will tell what Lovato's departure will mean for the success of the show, but Cowell announced earlier this week that he expects the show's return next year, possibly with a format change, which would put the show on once a week rather than the current two. He also mentioned possibly moving into a different role and leaving he judge's panel.

"The thing about these shows over the years is they started off as one-hour shows and now it's two hours or two and a half hours and then an hour show the next day. That's like watching a movie," Cowell said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's getting to be probably too much. When the shows are popular, the networks want to make them longer, and that's not necessarily a good thing."

The season finale of The X Factor airs tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

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