J-Lo may not return to American Idol hotseat

JENNIFER Lopez may not return to American Idol next year as she juggles motherhood with a comeback in both her pop music and acting careers.

Lopez, who has young twins, told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres that she wasn't sure about renewing her contract as a judge on the TV singing contest for a third year.

And sources close to the singer said that she was "just too busy" to return to the show.

"Now this is my second year -- I don't know if I can go for a third year. I miss doing other things. It really does lock you down, which was nice the first year with the babies being three, but now they're getting more mobile, they're about to go into school... so I just don't know," Lopez told DeGeneres.

Fox television, which airs the popular show, declined to comment.

But Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said that the show wanted her back.

Lopez made similar noises last year before signing again for Idol, which has revived her career.

Her public misgivings follow the signing this week of Britney Spears to the US version of The X Factor for a reported $15m (¤11.7m) a year -- one of the highest paydays for TV celebrity judges.

But Forbes named On The Floor singer Lopez the most powerful celebrity in the world yesterday, citing her earnings from multiple endorsements, record sales and social media buzz.

She heads out on a North American tour in July and August with Latin singer Enrique Iglesias.

She also has three movies coming out in the next 12 months, including comedy What To Expect When You Are Expecting this week.

Fox executives told reporters earlier this week that they were happy with the three American Idol judges -- Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson.