July 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM ET
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler announced Thursday that he won't be returning to judge season 12 of "American Idol."
"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. "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."
Tyler joined the show as a judge in season 10.
“It’s been a tremendous honor to have Steven – one of the most prolific artists in the world – on 'American Idol' for the past two seasons,” Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative entertainment, said in a statement. “He’s been a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor to everyone involved with the show, and we know he’ll continue to be a huge inspiration to 'Idol' hopefuls for years to come. 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 the music. We all wish him all the best and would love to have him back on the show anytime.”
After the announcement was made, season 11 finalist Colton Dixon tweeted, "Sad to see @IamStevenT go. He truly was a great judge, and helped me out in many ways. Thanks for everything!"
Tyler's two-season stint on the ratings juggernaut featured many colorful comments -- some of which had to be censored -- and a lot of praise for the contestants. He also drew criticism for comments he made about some young female hopefuls, with viewers complaining that his quips were inappropriate.
Earlier Thursday, fellow judge Jennifer Lopez said on TODAY that she wasn't sure she'd be back for another season either. "You know, I signed on to 'American Idol' to do one year, and ... I wound up doing the two years," she said. "And now it’s like, 'OK, do we continue on this journey?' "
No word yet if original judge Randy Jackson will be back again next season. But ahead of the judging shakeup, E! Online reported this week that "Idol's" bosses were considering season eight runner-up Adam Lambert for a spot on the panel. Other rumored possibilities include Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, Katy Perry and "Idol" mentor will.i.am.
What will you remember most about the rocker's time on the show? Who do you think should replace him on the panel next season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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