You know when you quit a job and you tell your boss you just felt that it "was time" for the next step, or you wanted to 'do different things," but really you're leaving because you found some other place that will pay you like $9,000 more? Apparently, that might be what really (kind of) happened in the cases of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler and their American Idol exits (except, of course, on a much larger scale).
The Wrap reports that J.Lo was dumped by Idol after she asked for a $2 million pay raise, which would bring her salary up to $17 million. In her first season, she made $12 million, in her second, $15 million. Really, once you're making $15 million, what is $2 million? Especially when you already have millions and millions. You used to have a little, now you have a lot. Why do you need more? These are just the questions we assume are on the minds of J.Lo fans.
Also, despite his storied "long, hard thoughts" it has been reported that Fox actually decided not to pick up Steven's option for another season as well, and he didn't leave on his completely on his own volition (we still hope the part about him wanting to get back to Aerosmith was true, though!).
Before Jen made the announcement that she was in fact leaving Idol, Deadline reported that a source close to the singer-actress told them, “I think she’s off and it’s mutual. They’re not inviting her back so quickly. Not because they’re unhappy with her. But because she wants a lot of f***ing money, a lot.” Furthermore, J.Lo reportedly said, “I’m not going back unless they pay me what I want.”
GossipCop indicates that the timing of the exit announcements was no coincidence; Thursday was supposedly a deadline for Jennifer and Steven to reach a financial agreement with Fox, and when it didn't happen, the network passed. Randy Jackson issued a very status-quo statement about Jennifer and Steven, which did not at all discuss what the show will be like without them — coupled with the rumors that Randy is considering an exit after 11 seasons (reported by The Wrap), well, AI fans should be wondering if next season's panel will be completely new.
American Idol has suffered a ratings dip that can be attributed to a number of reasons: the rotating judges' panel, the sometimes-lackluster performances of its winners post-show and of course, the competition that copycat programs with twists pose. Network execs are no doubt looking to shake things up for next season, so it will definitely be interesting to see how things unfold!