‘American Idol’s Jennifer Lopez: ‘Maybe It’s Time for Me to Go’

by | July 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM | American Idol, The Today Show

Jennifer Lopez (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez did all but confirm she is leaving “American Idol” during a live interview Thursday on “The Today Show.”

Lopez appeared via satellite from Philadelphia to promote her new film “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and when interviewer Natalie Morales inevitably turned to the question of Lopez’s future on “American Idol,” the singer-actress hesitated with her response.

Calling it “a heartbreaking decision,” Lopez then did her best tap dancing around the subject but strongly suggested that she will not be returning as a judge next season, as has been widely speculated since this season of “Idol” ended.

“It’s been on my mind a lot, as you can imagine,” Lopez responded. “You know, I signed on to ‘American Idol’ to do one year, and … I wound up doing the two years. And now it’s like, ‘OK, do we continue on this journey?’ I’ve loved it so much. I just enjoy the whole process of the show. So it’s a tough decision either way.”

Click here to add this series to your queue.

But I have to say that there are so many other things that I want to do that I put on hold for that,” she continued. “At the end of the day, whichever way, it’s a heartbreaking decision if I’m going to have to go.”

The “if” part actually sounds as if she’s already made up her mind, as Morales noted, not letting Lopez off the hook just yet.

“I know everybody wants that definite ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and … all I can let you in on is my own thought process with it, because that’s where I truly am,” Lopez replied. “The truth is, I love everybody. I love all the guys on the show. Like I said, I’ve just enjoyed it so much. But I am thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do, like films and performing.”

While her “Idol” bosses probably don’t want her talking about her imminent departure publicly just yet, it’s certainly not news to them — they are already on the hunt for Lopez’s replacement, with names such as “Idol” alum Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Fergie and Will.I.Am under consideration.