Jennifer Lopez has decided to call it quits on Fox’s hit show ‘American Idol,” following by one day Steven Tyler’s decision to do the same. The move may open the door to sweeping changes that breathe new life into the long-running series.
Lopez got off to a bumpy start on the show, but eventually grew into her role and provided some softness to the often rough edges of Tyler and long-time Judge Randy Jackson.
Lopez made the announcement during a call in to Ryan Seacrest’s radio show this morning. “I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do,” she said. “Something has to give.”
Lopez could never be called a heavyweight as a judge, and in the end, the show did more for her career than she did for the show. It put her over the top in her a comeback that got off to a rocky start with a New Year’s Eve 2010 performance that was savaged by critics.
She was 41 at the time and had spent nearly four years out of the limelight after getting married and giving birth to twins. But the show helped lift her profile and gave her a chance to showcase her talents.
Now her career is burgeoning. She split from husband Marc Anthony last year and has been dating a back-up dancer half her age. Her latest tour is selling out in Europe.
With two of the three judges gone, there’s also talk that Jackson may be heading for the door as well. The show slipped in the ratings last year in the face of a slew of new competitors, such as “The Voice,” and even Simon Cowell’s own U.S. version of “X-Factor,” his popular UK show.
“We had an amazing run,” said Lopez. Actually, it was more like a brisk walk.
Both Tyler and Lopez seemed to come into their own last season, and the three judges showed solid chemistry. But neither Tyler nor Lopez were around long enough to make their mark.
The show’s producers have a real opportunity to revamp the format and freshen it up. Will they do it?