The TV Column: Jennifer Lopez is the latest ‘Idol’ judge to split

July 13, 2012

Jennifer Lopez — upstaged by fellow (and now former) “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler on Thursday in the middle of her It’s So Hard to Decide Whether to Return to “Idol” Tour, tried to regain the spotlight Friday, telling host Ryan Seacrest she, too, is leaving.

J-Lo, who, like Tyler, had judged Idolettes for just two seasons, announced her decision to walk on Seacrest’s syndicated radio show.

But only after treating Seacrest and his listeners to a lengthy recitation on how really, really hard it’s been for her, because she signed on for one season but fell in love with the show and working with the Idolettes and so returned for a second season, but her kids are getting older, and the time commitment to “Idol” leaves her unable to do other things she’d like to do — like her movies (her movies?), and her music “and my this and my that.”

Seacrest, demonstrating the bide-no-nonsense interview skills that recently got him named the Newest Member of NBC’s “Today” family, finally cut her off, asking abruptly, “Does that mean we’re co-workers, or not?”

J-Lo, who was on the phone with Seacrest, sighed heavily and continued her recitation.

“You’re breaking up with me?” Seacrest persisted.

“You’re going to make me cry!” J-Lo wailed.

And then, at long last, she said it:

“I honestly feel like just 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. You know what I mean?. . .I could just keep doing ‘Idol’ for the rest of my life, but that would be giving up a bunch of other things, and I just, I don’t know, I feel like we had an amazing run.”

Zzzzzzzz . . . huh? Oh, is she done yet?

In marked contrast, Tyler announced Thursday, “I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit.”

Now, all eyes are on Randy Jackson, a.k.a. The Only Surviving Original “American Idol” Judge, who has also been put on the Marked to Walk list.

Since the most recent season of “Idol” wrapped in May with the smallest finale audience on record and Fox suits flat-out said changes would be made on the show, there has been much speculation as to the future of the three judges.

The Reporters Who Cover Television, who have not yet recovered from the ordeal two years ago of trying to get the scoop on who would replace departed “Idol” judges Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres, are making it easy on themselves this time, simply reporting every name that floats by. So far the mix includes Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Adam Lambert, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, Katy Perry, will.i.am, Charlie Sheen — and Jerry Lewis.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.

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