Lopez announces she is leaving ‘Idol’

Tells Seacrest, 'The time has come to get back to do what I do.'

Now that the second shoe has dropped on “American Idol,” attention turns to the status of third judge Randy Jackson.

While the judges panel has undergone many changes since 2009, Jackson remains from “Idol’s” old guard, and Fox execs may want a clean sweep of its judges that could bring a fresh vibrancy to the show.

Late last week, Steven Tyler and then Jennifer Lopez announced their intentions to leave the show after two seasons. Adam Lambert, a popular contestant from the eighth season of “Idol,” is one name mentioned as a possible replacement judge, and he said he has been approached about the position.

After ratings slipped following the ninth season in 2010, Tyler and Lopez helped reinvigorate “Idol.” The 2011 season averaged 26.2 million viewers, up 5% from 2010 for the show’s first year-over-year growth since 2006. But ratings took a tumble in 2012.

Lopez announced on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show Friday morning that she is leaving.

“I honestly feel the time has come to get back to do what I do,” she said. “I had put it on hold because I love ‘Idol’ so much. You have a lot of other responsibilities and other things you want to do.”

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