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JUL
12
2 YEARS

Jennifer Lopez Says It's 'Time' to Leave 'American Idol' (Video)

Says the judge: "I am thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do."

Jennifer Lopez Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Here we go again: Jennifer Lopez says she might not return to judge another season of American Idol.

But does she really mean it this time? All signs point to ... who knows.

Lopez, who has yet to sign her contract with the Fox competition, has teased her impending decision in the media for the past few weeks. In an interview Thursday on Today, J-Lo hinted that she might walk rather than resume her post on the judges' panel for the show's 12th edition.

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"I know everybody wants that definite 'yes' or 'no,' and ... all I can let you in on is my own thought process with it, because that’s where I truly am," she said.  "And the truth is, I love everybody. I love all the guys on the show. I love the family that’s there. Like I said, I've just enjoyed it so much. But I am thinking that maybe it’s time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do."

Not so fast.

She added: "But then again I really love the show, so ... ."

Since Simon Cowell jumped ship after season nine, the Idol panel has comprised Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler.

Together, the three have faced criticism for their softer approach to judging contestants as compared with Cowell's acerbic yet spot-on observations. Like J-Lo, Jackson and Tyler have yet to sign on for season 12.

STORY: Adam Lambert on Judging 'American Idol': 'I'd Be More Than Flattered'

Back in May, Lopez stirred up "will she or won't she" headlines when reports surfaced that she might be departing Idol after a two-year run. As she told The Ellen DeGeneres Show: "I don't know if I can go for a third year. I miss doing other things."

(Flash back to a similar position she took after season 10 ended and she insisted she was "on the fence" about doing another. As a result, she scored an estimated $20 million salary promotion.)

Lopez is now on a world tour with Enrique Iglesias, and her latest film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, in which she voices a character, opens in theaters Friday.

If Lopez and/or one of her co-judges exits Idol, then producers will be prepared: according ot reports, the show is reaching out to possible replacements. Among the names being tossed around: Adam Lambert, who'd be "more than flattered" to get the gig, and Charlie Sheen, the prospect of which is clearly Nigel Lythgoe's idea of a cruel joke.

Watch Lopez's Today interview below.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com