Steven Tyler quits American Idol

2012-07-13 08:55

Los Angeles – Rocker Steven Tyler bowed out of his job as a judge on top-rated television singing contest American Idol for the coming season, saying he wants to dedicate himself to his band, Aerosmith.

Tyler’s departure yesterday comes as his fellow judge, Jennifer Lopez, also weighs whether to return to the programme that once reigned supreme atop US TV ratings but has seen its audience shrink in recent years.

Third panellist Randy Jackson seems a likely bet to return this fall for the programme’s 12th season either as a judge or in a mentoring role.

“I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back,” the band’s lead singer said.

“I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” Tyler added, in a reference to the thriller movie, Fatal Attraction.

Tyler (64), and Aerosmith had amassed numerous hits like Walk This Way and I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing since gaining fame in the 1970s, but the group had reached a lull a few years back when the singer decided to join “American Idol” as a judge.

The addition of Tyler and Lopez to the judging panel in the season that began in January last year sparked great interest in the Fox TV network’s hit show.

But the most recent season that ended in May had the lowest-rated finale in 11 years, with just 21.5 million Americans tuning in to watch Phillip Phillips win the title and recording contract that comes with it.

More than 30 million viewers watched the show’s finale in its heyday in 2006 and 2007. Mark Darnell, the president of alternative entertainment for Fox, called Tyler “a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor” on the show.

“We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock ’n roll legend, he would go back to music,” Darnell said.

Indeed, Tyler’s return to performing seemed foremost in his mind in March when Aerosmith announced it would go on a North American tour that began on June 16, and release their first album in eight years, Music From Another Dimension, on November 6.

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