Will J. Lo Wave Goodbye To American Idol?

There is unlikely to be as much drama surrounding the American Idol judging panel this summer as there was in 2010, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any at all. Case in point, Jennifer Lopez has kicked off the Idol offseason by suggesting that maybe, just maybe, she won’t be coming back for Season 11.
Lopez signed only a one-year contract to serve as an Idol judge, but given the relative success of the just ended season (stable ratings for a veteran show is considered success), Fox is eager to have her back. But she told Fox411.com that “it’s too early to tell” if she will return to the show. Lopez is reported to have made $12 million from Idol this past season – good money, but less than the $18 million Steven Tyler is alleged to have signed for (Tyler has a multiyear deal, and while we’re not sure what Randy Jackson’s salary is, he’s just happy to have not been fired yet). It’s safe to say J. Lo has a different, bigger number in mind when it comes to taking the middle chair again next winter.
OK, a certain amount of negotiation in the media is expected here (Paula Abdul made an annual spectacle of it). And Lopez probably does deserve a raise, to the extent anyone on television “deserves” anything. But there’s a risk to her in walking away too. She was pretty much dead in the water a year ago at this time, with no big film roles pending and her once-blazing recording career considered a joke. Lopez signs on with Idol, and now she’s a part of what is still the biggest show on television, with a People cover and her biggest pop hit in years.  The Idol schedule gives her plenty of exposure, and the chance to still spend more time with her twin toddlers than most working moms.
We’ll bet that something gets worked out.


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