An American Idol judge is officially leaving the show, but it’s not the one you might think. On the same day that Jennifer Lopez hinted that she may be leaving the show, Steven Tyler has officially announced that he is quitting American Idol after two seasons as a judge.

The official press release was full of the kind of totally absurd ramblings viewers came to expect from Tyler. “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.” He also explained that he is leaving to refocus on Aerosmith.

Recently, amid rumors that Lopez was leaving, there has been countless speculation of who might join American Idol season 12 as a judge, from former runner-up Adam Lambert to Miley Cyrus to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe’s odd suggestions of Charlie Sheen and Jerry Lewis.

With Tyler gone and Lopez potentially leaving, it seems like American Idol is back where it was two years ago when Simon Cowell left. The turnover is no big surprise at this time as the show saw a huge dip in the ratings for season 11, losing the title of the most-watched TV series of the season for the first time in a decade.

In fact, the American Idol judges’ panel has been in a constant state of flux for several years. The original three (Simon, Paula and Randy) lasted seven seasons, but then they added Kara DioGuardi in season 8, replaced Paula with Ellen Degeneres in season 9 and dumped Kara, Ellen and Simon after that to start fresh with Randy, Jennifer and Steven in season 10.

Now, assuming Randy Jackson stays put, it will be a chance to restart the series. In the competitive field of The X Factor, The Voice, Duets and countless other shows, finding high-profile, qualified judges may be hard.

But whatever comes, it’s clear that American Idol will be making some big changes in season 12. Given other shows’ recent judge turnover (Britney Spears joining The X Factor, Howard Stern joining America’s Got Talent), I suspect Idol will try to land a big, controversial star to attract the viewers.

Who do you think should replace Steven Tyler?

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.