Jennifer Lopez follows Tyler off 'American Idol'
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2012 photo, "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez, center, reacts as fellow judge Steven Tyler, left, of Aerosmith makes a joke about wearing Lopez's pants as Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest are seen at right during the "American Idol" panel at the Fox Broadcasting Company Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. "American Idol" is on the brink of a crisis, Thursday, July 12, 2012, as judge Steven Tyler is leaving, and fellow judge Jennifer Lopez is dithering about staying put. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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, original judge Randy Jackson, 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 reengineered 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 for its judges: Lopez's contract reportedly was worth $12 million and the stint proved a career-booster for her.
Fox and Jackson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
FILE - This March 28, 2012 file photo shows Steven Tyler speaking at the Aerosmith news conference announcing the 2012 Global Warming Tour in Los Angeles. Tyler announced Thursday, July 12, 2012 that he will not be returning as a judge on the singing competition series "American Idol." Tyler served as a judge with singer/actress Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson on the 10th and 11th season of the series. (AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)
Tyler started the exodus with his announcement Thursday that he was putting rock 'n' roll ahead of the show that he said had been "over-the-top fun."
"I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band," Tyler said in a statement. Aerosmith is on a nationwide tour with Tyler and has an album due out in the fall.
In a phone interview Thursday with The Associated Press as the news about Tyler broke, Lopez had said she was saddened to hear that Tyler was leaving and that his departure would play a role in her decision.