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Kelly Rowland has hit back at claims that she was axed from the X Factor in favour of Simon Cowell's former flame, Dannii Minogue.

Hours after it was confirmed that the 31-year-old singer would not be returning to the judging panel of the hit ITV talent show, Rowland reportedly insisted that she had not been axed but had quit because of the show's "increasing demands".

She said "I love the UK and being part of the show. Mentoring the girls was such an incredible experience I will never forget."

Although Rowland's spokesperson cited "global commitments coupled with the show's increasing demands" as the reason behind her departure, a source close to the programme told a different story.

The insider told the Sun: "Kelly was never given a contract to look at by bosses. Simon has remained a big fan of Dannii's and wants her back."

Rumours have also been rife that Cowell felt Rowland had not connected with viewers during her stint on the show.

And show bosses were unimpressed when she flew back to America during the last series to carry out another job when she should have been mentoring her contestants.

According to reports, the Commander songstress was also pushing for her pay to be tripled from last year's £500,000 - which the show execs refused to meet.

IBTimes UK has a look at other X Factor judges who have been dumped.