Lopez follows Tyler off ‘American Idol’

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Lopez follows Tyler off ‘American Idol’

LOS ANGELES - Jennifer Lopez followed Steven Tyler’s lead off “American Idol” on Friday, a one-two punch for a show on the brink of an adolescent identity crisis.

Lopez will not be back for a third year on television’s top-rated but struggling show, her representative, Mark Young, said Friday. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler announced Thursday he was exiting.

That means the “Idol” panel is down to one, Randy Jackson, an original judge, and there are reports that he may take a different role when the Fox show returns next January.

Lopez broke the news to “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show.

“I really was dreading this phone call with you,” she told him. “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.”

“American Idol” has been TV’s most popular program for nearly a decade, but its ratings have declined as TV’s talent show field has grown more competitive.

When it returns for its 12th season next January, “Idol” will have to be a re-engineered version of the once-powerhouse series that turned hopefuls such as Jennifer Hudson into stars and gave network rivals fits.

Speculation about potential new panelists has focused on Mariah Carey, with former “Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert getting a shout-out from his fans. Much is at stake for the show and its judges: Lopez’s contract reportedly was worth $12 million and the stint proved a career-booster for her.

AP
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