Mario Lopez returning as solo host of Fox's 'X Factor'

By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY

Mario Lopez will be back, but Khloe Kardashian won't.

The Extra host will return for a second season as host of Fox's The X Factor, this time without last year's co-host Kardashian.

It will mark the third hosting configuration in three seasons for Simon Cowell's singing competition. Steve Jones hosted Season 1.

Lopez will join Cowell and Demi Lovato, who will be back as judges. Two other Season 2 judges, Britney Spears and L.A. Reid, are not returning to the show, which starts its third season in the fall. There have been no announcements about new judges.

"I'm looking forward to returning to The X Factor team," Lopez said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "We're coming back stronger and better than ever and I'm excited to check out all the new talent."

"I'm thrilled Mario is back for Season 3 of The X Factor," Cowell said in a statement. "Hosting a live show and keeping the judges - especially Demi - in line, is not an easy job, but Mario is a pro and we are glad he's coming back."

Separately, the show confirmed the departure of Kardashian, a first-time host. "Khloe Kardashian will not be returning to co-host The X Factor. We really enjoyed working with her and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

Open auditions for Season 3 being Thursday in Long Island, N.Y.


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