While Jennifer Lopez has long been rumored to leave "American Idol", it's Steven Tyler who first made his exit official. Announcing his departure, the Aerosmith frontman said in a statement released on Thursday, July 12, "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," the father of actress Liv Tyler continued explaining, "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."
He went on sharing his plans with the band, "The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass - the ultimate in auditory takeover. On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, 'Music From Another Dimension' on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars...Idol was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it...Now it's time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD (Oh my god!)."
Responding to Tyler's decision to quit his judging gig on the singing competition, Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment for FOX, said in a statement, "It's been a tremendous honor to have Steven - one of the most prolific artists in the world - on American Idol for the past two seasons."
Praising the 64-year-old rocker as "a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor" as well as "a huge inspiration to Idol hopefuls," Darnell admitted, "We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock 'n' roll legend, he would go back to the music. We all wish him all the best and would love to have him back on the show anytime."
Earlier Thursday, Jennifer Lopez gave a hint that she might leave "Idol". "I enjoy the show so much," she said on NBC's "Today". "I enjoy just the whole process of the show and the whole thing. So it's a tough decision either way. But I have to say that there are so many other things that I do, and that I put on hold for ['Idol']. At the end of the day, whichever way, it's a heartbreaking decision if I'm going to have to go."
When pressed further about her final decision, the "On the Floor" hitmaker said, "But I am thinking that maybe it's time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do ...but then again, I really love the show!"
Tyler and Lopez joined Randy Jackson as "Idol" judges in its tenth season, which aired in 2011. The upcoming thirteenth season is scheduled to premiere early 2013.