“American Idol” Judges land one-two punch: Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez Are Out!

VIDEO GOODBYES

By Justine Espersen & DiMarkco Chandler

Following in Steven Tyler’s footsteps, Jennifer Lopez announced today she will not be returning for a third year to “American Idol.”

Lopez broke the news during her radio interview with Ryan Seacrest this morning. She admits she doesn’t want to close the door, but the time has come.

“I really was dreading this phone call with you,” Lopez told Seacrest tearfully on his live radio show, “On the Air.” “I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I’ve put kind of on hold because I love ‘Idol’ so much.”

With Tyler and Lopez’s leave from “American Idol, the panel is left with their original judge Randy Jackson. However, there are reports that Jackson may take a different position with the Fox show when it returns January 2013.

The show continues to be television’s most popular program for almost a decade, but its ratings have slowly declined as more T.V. talent shows come aboard. The panelists chosen for “Idol’s” 12th season will determine if they stay on top.

There have been rumors that Mariah Carey and former “Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert are potential panelists, according to the Associated Press.

As mentioned, Lopez’s decision to leave followed Steven Tyler’s announcement to leave the building.

The 64-year-old multi-rocker will not return to the American Idol’s judges table for a third season. Tyler says it’s time to put rock first. Yesterday the rocker became the first judge to exit the popular singing contest.

Fox announced the departure in a press release, which included Tyler’s statement, “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.” The statement when on to say, “I strayed from ny 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. The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover … On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars … “Idol” was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it … Now it’s time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD”

Lately, the rumor mills have been replete with speculation suggesting that Tyler might not return to the Idol judge table, but no one really knew what to believe. The singer has, in recent months, been put on a sort of hot seat with members of Aerosmith asking him to make a choice; either choose to focus on “American Idol” or the band. In fact, band mate Joe Perry is reported to have given Tyler an ultimatum.

It looks like after last month, when Aerosmith kicked off their long-awaited Global Warming Tour in a sold-out Target Center in Minneapolis, Tyler had made up his mind. Following the concert, he went on the record saying that it was a performance to remember. 14,000 fans were packed in to see and hear their favorite Aerosmith songs, and Steven Tyler didn’t let them down as he unleashed his trademark banshee howl, performing “Cryin,” “Last Child,” “Walking the Dog” and “Mam Kin” as well as a pair of new originals.

The band closed out the show with a string of their 70s hits that included “Walk This Way” and “Dream On.”

Tyler and Perry appeared, at least on stage, to be over their recent disagreements, and it has been further reported that after the concert Steven told Perry “I’m back.”

The show received rave reviews, including one from Rollingstone.com, which reported that if Aerosmith continues to put on momentous shows like Saturday’s triumphal concert, fans everywhere would have the better part of the deal.

Ever since Minneapolis, it appears that Tyler knew what he had to do. Perhaps it was like having two girlfriends with one of them fine with the relationship while the other issues an ultimatum. One way or another, you’re going to have to make a decision and break up with one of them. In Tyler’s case, he chose to dump “American Idol.”

Simon Fuller, creator and executive producer of “American Idol,” said in a statement, “Steven Tyler is a real ‘Idol’ and rock legend. If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on ‘American Idol,’ I would have thought it impossible… The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very prod. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer of America’s greatest-ever rock band. ‘American Idol’ will miss him!”

It appears that “Idol” is undergoing a major facelift, and it will be interesting to see if Randy Jackson decides to stay. Whatever the conclusion, fans will see at least two new celebrities seated at the judges table for season 12.

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