Amid a sea of rumors over what the upcoming season of “American Idol” will look like, some concrete news has finally surfaced: Steven Tyler is leaving the show, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Much of the recent speculation has centered on another judge: Jennifer Lopez. But Tyler captured his own share of the spotlight today, issuing a statement that says: “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. 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.”
The story notes: “Tyler then promoted his upcoming album, and added, ‘”Idol” was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it. … Now it’s time to bring rock back.’”
As for J-Lo, reports have been mixed on whether she will be back, but lately she appears to be leaning toward leaving the show. The bottom line, TMZ.com reports, is she’s not sure. Lopez won’t decide until she finishes her current concert tour with Enrique Iglesias, according to sources cited in the report.
Some reports have indicated that Lopez has told producers she won’t return, but those reports aren’t true, according to sources close to Lopez who are cited in the story. Lopez has reportedly said she’s “torn” about the decision.
Lopez said on “Today” this morning, “I think it’s time for me to go,” TMZ notes.
As previously reported, former "Idol" contestant Adam Lambert is being considered for a return to the show as a judge, potentially replacing Lopez.
TMZ reports separately — for what it’s worth — that "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is saying he wants Charlie Sheen and veteran comedian Jerry Lewis for the judging panel. It appears that the show has been sending feelers far and wide — including to Sheen and Lewis.
The report adds: "We’re told producers believe they still have a chance of re-signing Jennifer Lopez — whom they want badly. Our sources say the process of deciding who will be on the show is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. If Lopez goes away, then certain replacements would make sense and others would not. If Steven Tyler or Randy Jackson say bye bye, then a different set of replacements would make sense."
The report hints that Lythgoe — whose own job on "Idol" for season 12 is not locked in yet — might be kidding about Lewis and Sheen. What’s known is that the show’s producers are still a long way from locking in the lineup.
Other potential replacements for Lopez are being considered, reports US Magazine, including singers Mariah Carey and Fergie.
No official announcement about Lopez’s contract has been made, the US story adds.
Commenting on Tyler’s announcement, James Hibberd writes in EW: “With his veteran rocker spaciness and somewhat creepy lusty comments about young female contestants, the 64-year-old singer was considered an entertaining and fresh personality for the show during Tyler’s debut season last year. During the recent 11th season, however, many fans seemed to feel ‘Idol’ wouldn’t be hurt by somebody else taking Tyler’s place.”
The story notes that the show suffered the sharpest ratings declines in its history during its most recent season.