'American Idol' judges leave panel for other pursuits - FOX 32 News Chicago

'American Idol' judges leave panel for other pursuits

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Wow! We got more "American Idol" news in one day than we've had in the past couple of months - all breaking on the first day of Chicago auditions for season 12.

The latest: Steven Tyler announced that after judging for the past two seasons, the iconic rock star is leaving the show to concentrate on the release of Aerosmith's new album this fall, and the subsequent tour to support it.

In typical, quirky Tyler style, his statement explained he "decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress 'American Idol' before she boils my rabbit. I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back.'

That's an obvious humorous reference to the film "Fatal Attraction."

It sounds like the entire judging panel could be new for this upcoming twelfth season. On the "TODAY" show Thursday morning, Jennifer Lopez virtually admitted she too was exiting "Idol" as has been long predicted.

"The truth is," J-Lo said, "I love everybody. I love all the guys on the show. 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 -- like making films and touring."

Late Thursday afternoon "US Weekly" was the first to report that the third judge - Randy Jackson - the one judge who's been there since the beginning, may also be departing the judge's panel, but not exactly leaving "American Idol."

Rumor has it Jackson will move into a role as a mentor to contestants.

Among names floated as possible new judges are Mariah Carey, ex-"Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert and Black Eyed Pea, Fergie.

Of course, Thursday truly was Chicago "Idol" day. More than 9,000 hopefuls showed up at the United Center, ready for this first elimination round, which is conducted by show producers.

One young woman I interviewed showed she was fully confident that she has what it takes to be the next "American Idol."

We send out good luck wishes to Hannah from Naperville and all the people from all over the Midwest who came out.

While at the auditions, I caught up with show host Ryan Seacrest. He gave his best piece of advice for those trying out:

"For today's audition, I think the best advice is don't worry too much. Get in there and just do your best at showing us that you've got some sort of spark. If you forget the words it's okay in this audition. We'll look at that later."

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