updated 02/08/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/08/2012 AT 8:15 AM ET
Simon Cowell blames himself for the big shakeup at The X Factor, saying he set unreasonable expectations for the show, and was forced to let Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger go when it underperformed.
“I would’ve liked to have kept [Paula],” Cowell, 52, tells Extra. “She was very gracious, and I said that to her. She understands it’s business; it’s never personal.”
Of Scherzinger, he added: “I don’t think she’s mad. I think she’s disappointed.”