The once enormously successful pop culture phenomenon, “American Idol” has struggled in recent years to maintain viewership, and now it is struggling to keep a hold on judges too. Pop star and icon, Jennifer Lopez has announced that she will not be returning for the next season of the show. This announcement was made just weeks after fellow judge Steven Tyler also announced his departure.
Tyler joined the show for only two season, replacing the infamous Simon Cowell. Audiences had expressed their displeasure about the replacement of Paula Abdul with Kara Dioguardi and Ellen DeGeneres in the previous two seasons, so it was not much of a surprise when they didn’t respond well to these newer changes as well. Widespread mixed feelings about the changing dynamic and personas in the judges, has been displayed by the decline in viewership since its peak in 2006, according to Horizon Media’s researcher Brad Adgate. In juxtaposition to the original die-hard fans who seem to crave the dynamic of their original trio, many influential people in the “rock” world have expressed their pleasure and hope for the future of the show with Steven Tyler as a judge. Nikki Sixx on his radio show, The Sixx Sense, expressed his hopes that Tyler’s presence would inspire more of an acceptance of rock and other genres that seem to be missing from the previous seasons of the pop-dominated show. Although the general mix of genres for contestants did not significantly change, the success of season 10, hard rocker contestant James Durbin’s album “Memoirs of a Beautiful Disaster” could be seen as a small contribution to the “Idol” legacy by Tyler’s influence.
Tyler reportedly left the show to focus more on his band, Aerosmith, who has enjoyed fame since the mid-70s. With their current “Global Warming” tour, and hints on the band’s Facebook page of bigger things to come in the near future, it was no surprise that this rock star would not be returning to “Idol”.
Jennifer Lopez is also stepping away from her spot on “Idol” to pursue other things. Before her formal announcement to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, Jennifer Lopez commented to Ellen DeGeneres on the comedian’s talk show that she wishes to take more time to spend with her kids who are know old enough to start school soon. This statement combined with rumors of an upcoming world tour for the pop star softened the shock of her announcement for the “American Idol” fans.
According to Brad Adgate, American Idol held the coveted spot of highest viewer ratings through the ninth season, but was recently replaced by Dancing With the Stars , despite the fact that it still holds the value of the most expensive thirty second ad on television. This trend in decreasing popularity has not seemed to be altered by any changes in the show. With increasing competition in other talent-search type shows such as “The Voice” and “X Factor”, the general demographic to which “Idol” caters has been split and their monopoly has come to its final breaths.