Another seat is vacant at the once nation-conquering American Idol franchise. Just a day after Steven Tyler decided in a humorous statement that he would return to rock n’ roll, reupping with Aerosmith instead of judging for another year, Jennifer Lopez has also announced that she won’t be joining Idol for a third season.
“I really was dreading this phone call with you,” she said to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Friday morning, after he played yesterday’s Today show chat with Lopez in which she didn’t seem all that bullish on committing to Idol once again. It’s been rumored for months that Lopez might not renew her contract again, after pocketing $20 million from Idol this year.
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It became definitive Friday. “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,” she explained, replying affirmatively that her decision was final. “I just don’t know if I can be there every single day all the time, the way I’ve been doing the past two years.” Lopez, who will be touring this summer with Enrique Iglesias, said the decision wasn’t made amid feelings of malice.
“It wasn’t ever playing any games or doing anything or wanting more and more money. It wasn’t any of that, it was just a real — being smart about making a business decision and I had to really be responsible in that moment,” Lopez said about the discussion she had about making a deal. After the interview, her representative confirmed the news of her departure to the AP and Ryan Seacrest tweeted: “she’s made up her mind…will leave idol.” While it’s still unclear who will take her chair — or Tyler’s — perhaps an infusion of new talent can boost the show’s slumping ratings, which declined by 23% last season.