Source: Jennifer Lopez Playing ‘Hardball’ With ‘American Idol’ & FOX Execs

Written by Michael Lambarde on Jun. 25, 2011

Jennifer Lopez, who helped fill a gap for FOX’s American Idol after Simon Cowell left the series last year, is still “on the fence” about whether she is returning to America’s number one reality series next January. Auditions begin within the next few months and FOX has been asking Lopez about whether she is committed to working as a judge another season, but she has not given a firm “yes” or “no” answer, according to various sources.

“I haven’t been forced to make a decision and I’m glad about that because honestly I’m very kind of on the fence about it,” Lopez recently told Scott Mills of BBC Radio 1. She told Mills that she has a lot of upcoming projects going on in the future, including a new reality series called Q’Viva. She notes that it is going to “come down to making a choice”. The problem for FOX, however, is that they are waiting for that choice.

Many sources insist that Lopez is simply being nothing more than a “diva” and waiting until the 11th hour to get a bigger offer from FOX and then she will re-sign. “Lopez knows how instrumental Steven Tyler and especially her were in keeping the ratings from falling last year when many critics expected the show to cave without Cowell,” a source close to Lopez and the reality series shares to Lopez reportedly raked in $15 million for her stint as judge on Idol last year, but that is far from how much Cowell was making in his latter years on Idol — reports state that he may have made as much as $144 million per season. While FOX will not give Lopez anything close to that, she is likely playing hardball with the FOX and Idol execs to get a big bump, the source says.

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