Matt Campbell / EPA (ly7w4epd/600 )
As speculation (and uncertainty) hits the Net over Jennifer Lopez’s return to “American Idol,” Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has decided he won’t return to the aging competiton for a third season.
“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 on Thursday. “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.”
Immediately after Tyler inked his deal to join the show, rumors intensified that the rocker was preparing to walk away from the band he’s spent nearly 40 years fronting.
INTERACTIVE: 'Pick the next Judge'
There was also the nasty public tiff between Tyler and Joe Perry after the guitarist questioned Tyler's commitment to the band and even went on to announce that he’d audition vocalists to replace Tyler if necessary.
Though frustrated at all the rumors, Tyler told The Times before his debut on the show that he was optimistic his stint on “Idol” wouldn’t hinder Aerosmith.
“I have such an identity with this band. We’ve done a bunch of things. We certainly have been writing. I have a bunch of songs I’ve written for solo and/or Aerosmith,” Tyler said. “What you hear in the press about ‘American Idol’ getting in the way of the band just isn’t true. There’s no validity to it.”
Tyler announced in his statement that Aerosmith would be releasing their 15th album, “Music from Another Dimension!,” -- their first in eight years -- on Nov. 6 and, like Lopez, are currently on the road.
“’Idol’ was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it…Now it’s time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD.”
Despite Tyler's glowing statement, a source close to the show told The Times that the rocker, who made in the neighborhood of $8 million to $10 million to judge, might have had his option for another year on the show dropped by the network.
On the “Today” show Thursday, Lopez was quizzed about her return.
“Everybody wants that definite yes or no … there are so many other things that I do, that I put on hold for that,” Lopez said.
“But I am thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do,” she said. “Like films, and right now I’m on tour and performing — all the things that I do.”
Speculation has run rampant over the last few weeks as Lopez has yet to officially announce whether she would return to the show. “Idol” alum and fan favorite Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, will.i.am and Katy Perry have been said to be in the running.
Lambert called talk about his possible involvement “a beautiful rumor,” and Perry said “it's not right for me yet.”
Auditions for Season 12, which is set to launch in January, are already underway. (Producers do a round of auditions without the judges in attendance).