Jennifer Lopez say she's "really on the fence" about returning to "American Idol" next year. But will the show offer her enough money to lure her over to the "Idol" side of it?
Lopez, who joined "Idol" as a judge for its 10th season this year following the departures of Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi, divulged her uncertainty this week.
"I don't know. I haven't been forced to make a decision, and I'm glad about that because honestly I'm very on the fence about it," Lopez said during an interview with BBC Radio 1 on Monday.
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"I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening, and it's going to come down to making a choice of really what I want to do for the next year," she continued. "We're not really at the breaking point of 'You have to make a decision right now!' So I'm not. I'm really enjoying the time of just waiting — and seeing."
Lopez' ambivalence could be just the usual take-it-or-leave-it attitude that afflicts so many stars before contract renewal time. But it's worth noting that Lopez only signed a one-year contract for "Idol," while fellow new judge Steven Tyler signed on for two years.
Lopez is widely reported to have received $12 milion for her year on "Idol" — far less than the roughly $36 million Simon Cowell reportedly pulled down before jumping ship to launch the American version of "The X Factor."
Of course, Cowell was the central figure on "Idol," and helped establish the show. But Lopez — along with Tyler — deserves credit for keeping the show at No. 1 without Cowell.
The question is whether Fox thinks it needs her on board to keep that stability. Viewers have only had one season to get attached to her, and "Idol" isn't sentimental about parting ways with judges — just ask Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres or Paula Abdul.
Fox declined to comment, and Lopez's representative and Fremantle Media, which produces "Idol," did not immediately repond to TheWrap's requests for comment.
Money may not be the only factor. One of the side-perks of Lopez's judging gig is the opportunity the show offered her to promote her other projects. The increased exposure no doubt helped her single "On the Floor" become the highest-debuting single of her career.
Without another record to shill, will it be worth it for Lopez to hold down such a time-consuming gig as her "Idol" judging stint?
One thing seems certain: If Fox wants J.Lo back, the show won't get her for a song. Unless the song is her own, and she's looking to plug it.