"American Idol" was not Steven Tyler's "cup of tea." The Aerosmith singer told Rolling Stone he did the show for two seasons because of Aerosmith's troubles. "It was something to do while the storm blew by, to be honest," he said.
Tyler joined "American Idol" in 2010 after Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres left the series. Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joined veteran judge Randy Jackson for Seasons 10 and 11. Tyler announced his departure from "Idol" in July 2012 and Lopez soon followed.
“After some long ... hard ... thoughts … I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress 'American Idol' before she boils my rabbit," Tyler said in a statement. "I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back -- but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I've got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band."
Tyler told Rolling Stone he made a nice chunk of change from the series, but his heart wasn't in it. "I loved it and hated it. It was a great job, I sat next to J. Lo and I made a ton of money," he said. "It was a moment in life and it became larger than life."
"The show's about kids and what you do to nurture their talent," Tyler said. "They wanted me to take the piss out of the kids and I don't have that in me. That's not what I'm about."
"American Idol" creator Simon Fuller praised Tyler and called him a "rock legend" when announcing his departure from the Fox reality show. "If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on 'American Idol,' I would have thought it impossible," Fuller said in a statement. "The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America's greatest-ever rock band. 'American Idol' will miss him!”
Lopez is also leaving the series to pursue other projects. Mariah Carey has been tapped to join the judging panel with other names ranging from Adam Lambert to Nick Jonas being thrown around as other potential judges.
For more on Tyler's "American Idol" time and what's next, click over to Rolling Stone.