Steven Tyler leaves Idol, Lopez could go too

Steven Tyler has left American Idol, and Jennifer Lopez could be the next one to go. Photo / AP
Steven Tyler has left American Idol, and Jennifer Lopez could be the next one to go. Photo / AP

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has announced he is leaving ratings-challenged American Idol, while fellow judge Jennifer Lopez hinted that she could be the next to go.

Tyler, who became a judge on the hit talent show in September 2010, joining Lopez and record producer Randy Jackson, said he wants to return to his first love - rock music.

"After some long...hard...thoughts, I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit,'' he said in a statement posted on broadcaster Fox's Facebook page.

"I strayed from my first love, AEROSMITH, and I'm back - but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I've got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band," he added.

The show's creator and executive producer Simon Fuller paid tribute to the rocker.

"Steven Tyler is a real 'Idol,' a rock legend. If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on American Idol, I would have thought it impossible," he said.

"The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America's greatest-ever rock band. American Idol will miss him!''

Meanwhile actress-singer Lopez hinted that she could be next to leave the talent show, which is struggling to maintain ratings over rival broadcaster NBC's The Voice.

"You know, I signed on to American Idol to do one year, and I wound up doing the two years,'' said Lopez. "And now it's like, 'Okay, do we continue on this journey?'" she told NBC's Today show.

"It's a tough decision either way. But I have to say that there are so many other things that I do, and that I put on hold for that. At the end of the day, whichever way, it's a heartbreaking decision if I'm going to have to go."

Pressed for a clearer answer, she added: "I am thinking it's time for me to go and do other things I love to do."

American Idol, which has aired for 11 seasons, has struggled with falling ratings, and was thrown into disarray by the departure of judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi two years ago.

The Voice premiered on NBC last year and was an immediate hit, with judges Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. It has been renewed for a third season.


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