Steven Tyler to step down as ‘American Idol’ judge to return to Aerosmith full-time, Fox announces
'American Idol' will have to replace judge Steven Tyler, who's stepping down to return to fronting Aerosmith full time
Steven Tyler (l., with, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson) is leaving 'American Idol' - and Lopez may also be out the door.soon.
Steven Tyler is bolting "American Idol" to spend more time rocking with Aerosmith, Fox announced Thursday afternoon.
That throws the "Idol" judging panel up into the air again, two years after Simon Cowell's departure led to the arrival of Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
It also follows a season during which the show's ratings took their steepest plunge ever. Fox officials had said there would be some changes for next year's season 12.In a typically off-center Tyler statement released by Fox, the rocker judge said, "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."
This bizarre allusion to "Fatal Attraction" was followed by his declaration of his return to rocking.
"I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back," he said. "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.
" 'Idol' was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it. Now it's time to bring Rock Back."
The band plans to release a new album, "Music From Another Dimension," on Nov. 6, and is expected to tour after that.
Steven Tyler performs with Aerosmith at the 'American Idol' finale.
Tyler’s comments came a few hours after Lopez dropped a hint that she’s also planning on exiting the competition series.
During an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's "Today" Thursday morning, the 42-year-old entertainer let slip that she's "thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do."
Tyler's two years on "Idol" had stirred some hostility among other members of the band, notably guitarist and long-time Tyler sidekick Joe Perry, who felt Tyler had kicked the band to the curb to pursue Hollywood stardom.
Tyler, 64, has insisted the breach was never serious, that it was just one more rock 'n' roll drama.
"Idol" producers praised the outgoing judge.
"It's been a tremendous honor to have Steven on 'Idol' for the past two seasons," said Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox. "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."
Tyler's tenure on the show became a time when the judges were often the stars. He and Lopez often had unspoken fashion duels.
Ratings for "Idol" held up reasonably well his first season, but took a dramatic plunge this past season, as TV industry people began to wonder if there is some viewer fatigue with talent competition shows.
Fox gave no indication Thursday who might be in contention for Tyler's judge spot.