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Associated Press
“American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez jokes around with fellow judges Steven Tyler, left, and Randy Jackson. Lopez says she won’t be back when the show resumes.
People in the news

Like Tyler, Lopez says she’ll leave ‘American Idol’ behind

Jennifer Lopez followed fellow singer Steven Tyler’s lead and quit “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” judging 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 in January for its 12th season.

Fox and Jackson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jackson and his “dawg!” exclamations have been a stalwart part of “Idol.” But the show’s multiyear contracts, such as the one Jackson signed, typically include an escape clause that the network can choose to exercise or not.

Seacrest, the other original cast member, will provide a stable center. He signed a two-year contract with “American Idol” producers this spring to continue as host.

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. “Idol’s” May finale drew 21.5 million viewers but was a record-low for the show.

– Associated Press

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