UPDATE: Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler leave American Idol

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 12, 2012 

UPDATE: Jennifer Lopez announced Friday that she is leaving "American Idol." Learn more here.

"I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I've put kind of on hold because I love 'Idol' so much," Lopez said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show.

The news came a day after Steven Tyler announced his "Idol" departure.

"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 in a statement released by Fox.

“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.”

Weigh in: What does this mean for the show's future?

If I'm sad about the news, it's because I'm becoming more aware that the end is near for "Idol" -- not because I have any strong personal attachment to Steven Tyler or Jennifer Lopez.

In fact, Steven was arguably the least useful judge during his two seasons on "Idol" (seasons 10 and 11). When I posted this news on the Ledger's Twitter page, the first response poked fun at Steven's excessive use of "beautiful."

I'd characterize Jennifer's judging skills as "fair."

Now that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have left "American Idol," it's time for producers to reevaluate the role that judges play on the show. I want to know who you'd put on "Idol" judges' panel.

Would you opt for all celebrities, or less-recognizable (but possibly more competent) music industry insiders? Maybe a mix?

Three judges? Four judges? Another number?

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