Entertainment

J-Lo Leaving American Idol or Just a Contract Ploy?

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An unnamed Fox network source says Jennifer Lopez won't be back in the judge's seat alongside Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler at American Idol next season.

If the rumor is true, Lopez will say goodbye on next week's finale.

“She’s just too busy,” the source told E! Online. Meanwhile, the Sun-Times says that same source claims Lopez "wants to free up her schedule next year in the hope of spending more time with her kids."

However, don't get out those tissues just yet, J-Lo fans.

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Many believe J-Lo -- who is completing her second season -- is simply trying to gain leverage over Fox execs, who desperately want to keep her on the networks successful (maybe not as much as in the past) show.

"This could just be part of a negotiating tactic, of course," writes the L.A. Times. "While it's preferable for the network to have next season's contracts squared away before the upfront presentation (which was Monday for Fox), Lopez didn't re-sign with "Idol" last year until August. And though network execs reportedly wanted her for a multi-year contract, like that of her fellow judge Steven Tyler, she only signed for one year and got a hefty pay bump (from $12 million to $20 million).

Nigel Lithgoe, Idol's executive producer, told TMZ on Wednesday: "We want her back. I want her back.... It's a business. She has to weigh everything. I know she's gotten lots of offers to do movies and other things."