UPDATE: Looks like it's official, Jennifer Lopez is leaving American Idol. The star phoned in to Ryan Seacrest's radio show this morning to confirm the news.
"I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do," she told her AI colleague Seacrest. "Something has to give," she continued, adding, "we had an amazing run."
Yesterday, Steven Tyler announced his decision to leave the popular show and rumors also swirled that Randy Jackson was planning his exit as a judge. Should he leave, the competition series will have a completely new judging panel next season.
Big changes are on the horizon for American Idol.
After Steven Tyler announced his decision to leave the hit franchise, rumors are swirling that Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson may also be eyeing an exit.
Deadline.com reports that Lopez may be leaving the show to focus more on her acting career. “She wants to do movies," an insider from 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces American Idol, says. "She’s expecting her team to deliver. She feels she’d rather be on Idol performing than judging everyone else.”
The source also says that, while negotiations are still "fluid" between the studio and the star, a decision to part ways may be mutual. "They’re not inviting her back so quickly," the source says. "Not because they’re unhappy with her. But because she wants a lot of f-----g money, a lot.” Apparently, Lopez herself has told her team, “I’m not going back unless they pay me what I want.”
As for Jackson, a source tells Us Weekly that the industry heavyweight plans to leave the judging table but remain on the show as a mentor. However, he may have already hand-picked his replacement.
"They are in serious talks with Mariah [Carey] and it's very close to being a done deal," a source tells the magazine. "And they will move Randy into a more mentoring role." Jackson, of course, is Carey's manager, so it's not surprising he would want to keep it in the family.
But the mother-of-two may have some stiff competition to snag the coveted spot on the judging panel: Fergie and Adam Lambert are just two of the A-listers clamoring for the post.
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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)