Steven Tyler made his official announcement first, releasing a press release Thursday, July 12, 2012 saying he would not be returning for the 12th season. "I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit," the Aerosmith singer said, referencing the movie Fatal Attraction.
"I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith," Tyler continued. "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....it's time to bring rock back."
Later this year, Aerosmith will release, Music from Another Dimension, the band's first new studio album in eight years.
The day after Tyler's announcement, Jennifer Lopez spoke on the phone with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest.
"I honestly feel that the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I have kind of put on hold because I love Idol so much!" Lopez said.
She explained, "I have my movies and my music and it all kind of worked together for awhile, but it just gets more complicated. And as the kids get a little bit bigger, it started feeling like it was a lot and something had to give. Something has to give and that's, I think, where I am right now."
Although some insiders suggested Lopez was leaving Idol over contract issues (i.e. not being paid enough), Lopez claimed her recent hesitation over whether to stay or not was not a negotiation tactic to receive a bigger salary.
No word yet as to who might fill the judges' seats vacated by Lopez and Tyler.