LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jennifer Lopez is casting doubt on whether she will return to “American Idol” next year as she juggles motherhood with a comeback in both her pop music and acting careers.
Lopez, who has young twins, told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres this week that she wasn’t sure about renewing her contract as a judge on the TV singing contest for a third year.
And on Wednesday, sources close to the singer told E! News that she was “just too busy” and was planning on calling an end to her time on “American Idol”.
“Now this is my second year - I don’t know if I can go for a third year. I miss doing other things. It really does lock you down, which was nice the first year with the babies being three, but now they’re getting more mobile, they’re about to go into school ... So I just don’t know,” Lopez told DeGeneres on Tuesday.
Fox television, which airs the popular show, declined to comment. But “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told celebrity website TMZ that the show wanted her back.
Lopez made similar noises last year before signing again for “Idol”, which has revived her career and boosted her celebrity.
Her public misgivings follow the signing this week of Britney Spears to the U.S. version of “The X Factor” for a reported $15 million a year - one of the highest paydays for TV celebrity judges.
But Forbes on Wednesday named “On the Floor” singer Lopez the most powerful celebrity in the world, citing her earnings from multiple endorsements, record sales and social media buzz.
She heads out on a North American tour in July and August with Latin singer Enrique Iglesias. She also has three movies coming out in the next 12 months, including comedy “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” this week.
Fox executives told reporters earlier this week that they were happy with the three “American Idol” judges - Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson.
But they said there were would be some “creative reinvigoration” for next year’s 12th season after a bigger than expected drop off in viewers that has taken the audience to under 20 million this year.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte