After rumors that she was planning to split, Jennifer Lopez has confirmed that she is indeed leaving her post as judge on the competition-style reality show American Idol.
Jennifer Lopez’s announcement comes shortly after co-judge Steven Tyler announced his plans to leave the show behind (though she was much more diplomatic with her reasons for the split). TMZ reports that JLo broke the news to Ryan Seacrest over the phone this morning, telling him that, “I honestly feel like the time has come – that I have to get back to do the other things I do and have put on hold because I do love ‘Idol’ so much.”
“It sounds to me like you’ve made up your mind,” replied Seacrest.
“It’s one of those special things in your life that you don’t want to walk away from,” Lopez replied, adding, “I wasn’t playing games or wanting more money. It was being smart about making a business decision, and I have to be responsible in that moment.”
“Something has to give” Lopez wrapped up, “We had an amazing run.”
JLo’s comments to Seacrest seem to contradict reports that she was holding out for more money for next season (she reportedly made $20 million for judging this go-round, reports Newsday). Reports yesterday indicated that Lopez was playing coy by publicly batting her eyes and pretending to exit the Idol stage in a bid for higher pay, but her comments seem to show a genuine desire to move on to other neglected aspects of her career.
Though she is leaving her judge’s stand, Lopez hinted that she’ll be no stranger to the show, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. “I feel like no matter what you guys need over there, I’m always gonna be here. … There’s just that tie there; I just don’t know if I could be there every single day,” she said, alluding to potential guest appearances on the show.
Tyler and Lopez’s departure leaves poor Randy Jackson all by himself for the second time in as many years. Simon Cowell left for an American version of The X Factor while Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi departed for seas unknown. Paula Abdul, one of the original three, was the first judge out.