Steven Tyler Is Leaving ‘American Idol’

by | July 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM | American Idol

Steven Tyler Is Out of 'American Idol' (Photo: Fox)

Singer Steven Tyler has decided to exit “American Idol” and will not be returning as a judge next season, Fox announced Thursday.

After serving for two seasons on the “Idol” judging panel next to Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, the Aerosmith frontman has decided to ditch reality TV and get back to his music.

“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,” said Steven Tyler in a statement. “I strayed from my first love, AEROSMITH, and I’m back – 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. 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.”

Mike Darnell, Fox President of Alternative Entertainment, also issued 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,” Darnell said. “He’s been a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor to everyone involved with the show, and we know he’ll continue to be a huge inspiration to IDOL hopefuls for years to come. 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.”

The announcement comes the same day that Jennifer Lopez strongly suggested during an interview on “The Today Show” that she might not be back for a third season of “Idol” either, calling it “a heartbreaking decision.”

Producers are currently searching for some high-profile replacements, with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe recently telling reporters, “Everything is up in the air.” Some names rumored to be under consideration include “Idol” alum Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Fergie and Will.I.Am, but it’s way too early to get excited (or disgusted) about anyone yet.

So once again, “American Idol” is facing a major casting shake-up, with a very different looking judges’ panel debuting on Season 12 of “American Idol” in January.

Jennifer Lopez Hints at Her “Idol” Departure Thursday on “Today”: