Steven Tyler leaving “American Idol”

Steven Tyler poses backstage at the "American Idol" finale in May. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Steven Tyler poses backstage at the "American Idol" finale in May. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

After two seasons as a judge on “American Idol,” Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is leaving, Fox announced Thursday. “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.” (The Boston band, whose new CD will be released in November, plays TD Garden July 17 and 19.) The announcement comes as something of a surprise. The ratings for “Idol” have dipped in recent years, but Tyler had given no indication he was leaving. The flamboyant frontman seemed to enjoy himself on the show, and his antic personality was an amusing antidote to fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson. “Steven Tyler is a real ‘Idol,’ a rock legend,” the show’s creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement. “If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on ‘American Idol,’ I would have thought it impossible. . . . I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America’s greatest-ever rock band.” Fox officials didn’t say who might take Tyler’s place, but former “Idol” winner Adam Lambert and Charlie Sheen are rumored to be in the running to become judges. For now, J.Lo and Jackson are still judges, but there is speculation that Lopez might also exit before the next season. Tyler’s departure will likely be welcome news to his bandmates Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer. When the scarved screamer took the job, Perry, in particular, was upset, dissing the show as “one step above [Teenage Mutant] Ninja Turtles” and threatening to take the band on the road without Tyler. “I’m not going to sit around for two years waiting for him to come back to Aerosmith,” said Perry. Well, Tyler’s back — and happily so. “On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, ‘Music From Another Dimension’ on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars,” Tyler said in his statement. “ ‘Idol’ was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it. . . . Now it’s time to bring Rock Back.”

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