Like rats deserting a sinking ship JENNIFER LOPEZ leaps from the bow of ratings challenged AMERICAN IDOL.

Her rep confrimed Jenny from the Block is OUTTA HERE!

 Lopez broke the “news” to Idol host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show – natch as opposed to the presser Fox spammed worldwide re: Steven Tyler’s exit.

"I really was dreading this phone call with you," she told him.

"I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I've put kind of on hold because I love `Idol' so much."

“Big Dawg” Randy Jackson  is said to be next.

While "American Idol," which has been TV's most popular program for nearly a decade, ratings for the once must-see TV have dropped as the so-called talent show field gets more competitive and younger with judges like Demi Lovato.