One day after Steven Tyler made an official, FOX-released announcement that he's leaving "American Idol," Jennifer Lopez made a similar, somewhat more oblique, revelation on Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show.
"I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do," Lopez told Seacrest on Friday (July 13) morning.
In a 15 minute conversation ostensibly to plug her new "Ice Age" sequel, Lopez continued to dance around the "Idol" departure issue as much as possible.
"When I signed on to 'Idol,' I signed on to do one year and I wound up doing two years, because I just fell so in love with the show, everybody there, you guys," she said.
She also added, "I didn't know I would be so moved emotionally by working on the show and working with the contestants. It was just such a lovely surprise to do it."
But when Lopez said that "something had to give," Seacrest finally asked, "Does that mean we're co-workers or not?"
It should be noted that Lopez's response to Seacrest's semi-point-blank question wasn't anything resembling definitive.
She did say things like "I could just keep doing 'Idol' for the rest of my life, but that would be giving up a bunch of other things" and, in tears, "It's just really going to be hard for me to go."
Lopez never said the magic words "I'm done with 'American Idol'" and, in fact, made it clear that she was open to appearing on the show in some capacity and merely distanced herself from the seven-month, weekly grind of the show, specifically referencing her twins as the facet of her life she was hoping to concentrate on (though her movie and music career will presumably also get attention).
"You don't want to shut the door completely, but you know the time has come," she said.
HitFix reached out to FOX for a confirmation, but the network has yet to officially respond.
For now, it sounds as if FOX's reality cornerstone is on the verge of replacing a minimum of two judges for the second time in three seasons. Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both joined for Season 10 when "Idol" faced the potential calamity of losing Simon Cowell. The Aerosmith frontman and the "Maid in Manhattan" star may not have contributed substantial critical evaluation, but their starpower likely helped keep "Idol" in its place atop the TV ratings landscape (albeit at a lower level last season).
In addition, speculation has been rampant that Randy Jackson may also be leaving the show he's been on since its inception. Only Seacrest, in fact, remains committed for the 12th season of "American Idol," at least as far as on-air talent goes.
Here's the full Seacrest/Lopez segment:
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A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.