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Posted at 05:27 PM ET, 07/12/2012

Steven Tyler officially gone from ‘American Idol’


Steven Tyler with fellow “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez (Danny Moloshok - AP)

The same day Jennifer Lopez appeared on “Today” to, among other things, keep all eyes focused on her as she tries really, really hard to “decide” whether to return to Fox’s singing competition “American Idol” in January, her “Idol” judge colleague Steven Tyler totally upstaged her, announcing he was out.

“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,” the Aerosmith frontman in a statement issued by Fox Thursday afternoon after, presumably, being vetted by the “American Idol” Decency Police.

“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,” he continued to prattle on happily as he executed his Lopez end-run.

Hours earlier, Lopez had made another stop on her It’s So Hard to Decide Whether To Return to American Idol Tour, this time to confide on NBC’s “Today” show that she loved doing “Idol,” but it’s a busy schedule and there are so many other things she has not been able to do because of her “Idol” time constraints — movies, another album, etc.

“At the end of the day, whichever way, it’s a heartbreaking decision if I’m going to have to go,” Lopez emoted, Gloria Swanson-y.

“Like I said, I’ve just enjoyed it so much. But I am thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do,” she teased, then added, “but then again I’ve really love the show. So….”

Yeah, whatevs, Jlo. Meanwhile, Tyler, basking in His Moment, swore his next few years would be dedicated to “kicking some serious [heinie] – the ultimate in auditory takeover.”

He then threw in a plug for Aerosmith’s new album, which he promised to unleash as far away as Mars, and added that “ ‘Idol’ was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it…Now it’s time to bring Rock Back.”

And then, he left fans with the parting thought, “ERMAHGERD.”

Since the most recent season of “Idol” wrapped in May with the smallest finale audience on record -- after which both Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly and Fox parent NewsCorp’s COO Chase Carey said there were changes in store for the show — there has been much speculation as to which, if any of the show’s three judges would be back.

The Reporters Who Cover Television, grown weary trying to cull fact from fiction when covering competition series judge casting, dediced instead to plant their flag in every name out there.

Former “American Idol” non-winner Adam Lambert was a heavy favorite; Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minag, Fergie, Katy Perry, and will.i.am are also on the growing list. TMZ even contributed Charlie Sheen and Jerry Lewis’s candidacies, as leaked to the celebrity site by no less a source than “Idol” exec producer Nigel Lythgoe, though TMZ did decide to note that Lythgoe might possibly be kidding.

The longrunning singing competition last underwent a major shakeup in the fall of 2010, when host Ryan Seacrest finally unveiled Tyler and Lopez as the show’s new judges. They were replacing Simon Cowell — who had announced his departure to work on launching the show he hoped would take down “Idol” — Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres. Randy Jackson would be the only surviving judge.

When Seacrest finally unveiled aged rocker squirt Tyler and pop star/ex “In Living Color” Fly Girl dancer Jennifer Lopez, to a crowd of “Idol” auditioners (and reporters) in Los Angeles, it came as a surprise to no one, given that their names had been the only ones left on the shortlist for weeks and weeks.

The big news that day instead was the addition of Record label honcho Jimmy Iovine as the show’s new Mentor in Chief. Tyler and Jlo, who thought they were going to have their moment in the sun, seemed somewhat dazed at the turn that news conference took — especially Tyler, who periodically looked as though he had unhitched his brain to let it rest a spell. Which is also the best way to describe his two-season tenure as a judge on the still very popular Fox show.

Back then, Tyler didn’t sound so devoted to his Aerosmith colleagues, taking a question as to how his bandmates had reacted to news he was taking the TV judging gig by saying, “At first, they were jealous” because “they heard it through the press and not from me.”

“But four months ago they were looking for another lead singer,” he noted.

“I spent a stint in Betty Ford. They have been judging me every day, and sometimes it hurt, but most times I came out through the wormhole a stronger person,” Tyler continued, looking more and more like a tiny volcano getting ready to spread molten lava over the countryside while hundreds flee.

By  |  05:27 PM ET, 07/12/2012

 
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