Entertainment | Celebrity

Steven Tyler to exit American Idol as judge

The rock legend said he wanted to go back to his ‘first love’, Aerosmith

  • AP
  • Published: 00:00 July 14, 2012
  • Tabloid on Saturday

  • Image Credit: AP
  • FILE - This March 28, 2012 file photo shows Steven Tyler speaking at the Aerosmith news conference announcing the 2012 Global Warming Tour in Los Angeles. Tyler announced Thursday, July 12, 2012 that he will not be returning as a judge on the singing competition series "American Idol." Tyler served as a judge with singer/actress Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson on the 10th and 11th season of the series. (AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)

Steven Tyler says he’s exiting American Idol to put rock ’n’ roll first.

Tyler said he’s leaving the hit show after two seasons to rededicate himself to Aerosmith, the band he fronts. The rock star said he loved every minute on the hit Fox singing contest, but added, “it’s time to bring rock back”.

“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,” Tyler said, making a joking reference to the 1987 Michael Douglas-Glenn Close thriller Fatal Attraction. “I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

The band is now on a nationwide tour with Tyler and has an album due out in the autumn.

Tyler’s Idol departure leaves original judge Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, but the singer-actress’s future with the show is also cloudy.

In a phone interview, Lopez said she was saddened to hear that Tyler was leaving.

“I can’t even imagine anyone else there right now, because I’ve just spent two years sitting next to him,” she said. “I love Steven, and we became close during that time. We were a great support for each other, on an adventure that neither one of us knew what it was going to be. So it’s hard to hear that he won’t be doing it.” Lopez also said Tyler’s departure will play a role in her decision to stay or go. She has already expressed that there is a good likelihood that she will not be back.

“All hope is never lost, not all hope, but at the same time, there are too many things that I need to think about,” she said. “I know they want me back, I know that I want to go back, but it’s not as simple as that. When I started Idol ... I signed on for one year. I didn’t even think about doing it for two years, let alone three. To make the decision to go back a second year was a big deal for me.”

The change in the judging panel comes as Idol comes off a season of ratings erosion. Its finale, which saw Phillip Phillips crowned as the new “American Idol”, drew 21.5 million viewers, the lowest in its 11-season history.

The Fox competition, which started off with Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul as judges, has made various judging changes over the years. Ellen DeGeneres joined one season, and songwriter Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge, while Cowell and Abdul were still part of the panel.

The addition of Tyler and Lopez two years ago added fresh star power to a show that, while still a powerhouse, was seeing its audience slowly wane, due to its long tenure and the flood of other talent shows on the TV air waves.

Tyler added a raucous and sometimes flirtatious personality to the mix, while Lopez was much like Abdul’s role as the nurturer and supporter. No one has had the acerbic tone that made Cowell the celebrated villain of the show for years; he’s now on his own show, X-Factor, which recently went through its own judging shake-up and added Demi Lovato and Britney Spears.

Idol creator Simon Fuller lauded Tyler’s contribution. “Steven Tyler is a real ‘Idol’, a rock legend. If you had told me ten years ago he would be a judge on American Idol, I would have thought it impossible,” Fuller said in a statement. “The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America’s greatest-ever rock band. American Idol will miss him!”

— AP

Your guide to the best of the weekend

Tabloid on Saturday
Lifestyle & Entertainment columnists
  • Russell Hemmings
    The Hemmings way

    Life coach Russell Hemmings on fears, anxieties and the human psyche demystified

  • Gaby Doman
    Gaby Doman: Notes to myself

    The everyday ups and downs of being a modern woman, according to this globetrotter

  • Uma Ghosh Deshpande
    The Dubai Insider

    TV personality Uma Ghosh Deshpande guides you through the city’s society gatherings and stories

  • Pratyush Sarup
    Design diary

    Dubai-based interior designer Pratyush Sarup lets us in on the world of design

  • Bharat Thakur
    Yoga for you

    Bharat Thakur guides you through practices and wisdom of this ancient science of exercising

Lifestyle top picks

More from Life