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The Wrap is reporting that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez did not quit. They were pushed.
Jennifer Lopez says it was her choice to leave “American Idol” — but the singer was actually dumped by Fox when she asked for a $2 million raise in salary to $17 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told TheWrap.
Fox also opted not to pick up Steven Tyler’s option, the person said. Tyler announced his departure Thursday, saying he had decided to devote his energies to his first love, Aerosmith. Lopez said she wanted to focus on other aspects of her career and her children.
The exits — and the possible departure of Randy Jackson, widely speculated to be considering an exit after judging on all 11 seasons of the former No. 1 show — come as it undergoes another dramatic overhaul, just two seasons after the show was retooled by introducing Tyler and Lopez.
The insider said top Fox executives Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly want to revamp the show, and that Rice has told colleagues he wants an “Idol 2.0,” of which host Ryan Seacrest would be the only essential ingredient.
To be honest, this would not surprise me if it were true. FOX executives made it crystal clear back in May (as did executives from Idol’s parent company Core Media Group) during interviews at the FOX upfronts that they intended to retool Idol this year.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a producer or two yanked as well. I’m guessing Nigel Lythgoe is sweating up a storm right about now. Notice that we haven’t heard from him since the judges’ shake up announcements began yesterday and today.
Oh…and the Wrap also throws a few new names into the judges ring…
Many music stars are being considered to replace Lopez and Tyler, including Mariah Carey — whom Cowell has long sought for “X Factor” — Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and Lenny Kravitz.
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