Ending months of speculation and rumors, Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were introduced as the new judges at 1 p.m. in an event streamed on the Fox network's website. Randy Jackson is the only returning judge and the only original member of the panel.
Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi left TV's top-rated show this summer, and Simon Cowell announced earlier in the year that he wouldn't be returning either. Paula Abdul left in 2009 amid a contract dispute.
After being introduced this afternoon, Tyler said he wanted to join the show because "it's being a part of something much bigger than yourself," the Associated Press reported. "I want to bring some rock to this rollercoaster and show if you've got the heart, the talent, the feeling to do this you could be the next American Idol."
Lopez said her goal in serving as a judge is to help discover a great entertainer. "I'm so excited," said the singer, actress, and dancer. "I'm looking for the next Michael Jackson."
Tyler's bandmates aren't entirely impressed with their frontman's new gig. Aerosmith's lead guitarist, Joe Perry, told the Calgary Herald a few weeks ago that "American Idol" is "one step above [Teenage Mutant] Ninja Turtles. ... It's his business, but I don't want Aerosmith's name involved with it. We also have nothing to do with it." Perry also repeated his threat to tour without Tyler if necessary. "I'm not going to sit around for two years waiting for him to come back to Aerosmith."
No word on how much Fox is paying Tyler for the "American Idol" gig, but the flamboyant singer made it clear this summer that he doesn't come cheap. "They got to lay out the bread for me, baby," he told TMZ.com.
(Globe photo by Matthew J. Lee)