Nigel Lythgoe previews 'Idol' finale, big 'SYTYCD' changes
May 22nd, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Nigel Lythgoe previews 'Idol' finale, big 'SYTYCD' changes

With "The Voice," "The X Factor" and the upcoming "Duets," the original "American Idol" is understandably suffering from something of a ratings decline this season.

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe addressed this concern honestly with reporters on Friday.

"It would be very nice to remain at the top for the next 20 years," he said. "We’ve been at the top for 11 years. We’ve got to go somewhere, and the only place we can go is either stay there or go down. I still can’t believe that we’re still No. 1 after 11 years. The public does get bored with singing shows, and unless you produce the talent, like I believe we’ve done this year, we’ll go down again next year."

Lythgoe also didn't mince words when it came to Joshua Ledet, who looked like a favorite for Tuesday night's final performance show. Why did he get eliminated?

"He didn’t get enough votes," he said. "At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I think he’s the best, if you think he’s the best –  if not enough people do, then he doesn’t get the votes."

And despite what some tweeted complaints might've suggested, "at the end of the day it’s just like watching a soccer team or your football team and you’re just hoping that they’re going to win, and if they don’t win tough, come back next season," Lythgoe said of "Idol." "At least with this I truly believe that both Colton, actually, and Joshua are going to have good careers."

One thing all of the "Idol" competitors have in common is an element of the celebrity judges also coaching the contestants. Lythgoe was careful to draw a contrast with Jimmy Iovine's role as a mentor.

"I’m not sure people understand the difference between mentoring and judging," he said. "Judging is making a judgment. End of story. 'I didn’t like that. I liked it. You were brilliant. You were wonderful. You were crap.' Mentor is, 'Let’s look at this song, what does it mean, can you reach this note, can you get down to there, where’s the feeling behind that, what are you actually saying, what does this lyric say, what are you wearing, how’s your hair going to be?' It’s a whole different ball game. What Jimmy does is sit there and do all of that. I don’t want him going out there and judging like that when he’s been that intimate with the kids. The same with the judges, if they start trying to mentor in that sense I’ll lose them."

As soon as "Idol's" season ends on Wednesday, Lythgoe's "So You Think You Can Dance" kicks off on Thursday. With only one show a week this season, changes are afoot.

"The first week of it, nobody will be going home of the top 18 or 20," he explained. "The second week, America will vote, and there are going to be telephone numbers for each one of the dancers."

And, this year will also see "a male winner and a female winner," he said. "At the end of the show, the judges will cut one male and one female from the people that America voted in the bottom three the week before. So in other words, America voting for its favorite dancers will always keep them away from the judges."

Last year's trend of celebrity judges will most certainly continue as well.

"Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] spent a day with me in Los Angeles in the real auditions, where you’re looking at everybody, and we had a lot of fun, I must say."

A certain "adork-able" star on the same network as "SYTYCD" may make an appearance as well.

"I’d love a lot of the ones that did it last year to come back. At the [Fox] upfront, I must say I spoke to Zooey Deschanel, who’s an ardent fan, and hopefully we’ll get her on. I love the fact that people admire the show and love the show and I welcome them to give an opinion. We’ve got enough technicalities with me and Mary [Murphy], so anybody else there is going to bring fun to the table."


soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Michael Caliazzo

    Bill & Hilary are a bit self involved and stilted .

    May 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Michael Caliazzo

    Bareneck Obama is really trying.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Waren Buffet (Fat Egocentric Pig)

    I am worth 40 Billion dollars and still collect social Security.

    Obama is soo Good!

    May 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Caliazzo

    final season would be nice.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Coffee

    I think Philip should win – I wouldn't go out & buy Jessica's music & I think she is a little high on herself – don't really like that about her.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tigerone

    Jlo is he not leaving Idol, she and Steve Tyler off the show for not providing any good TV rating results for season 11, New Corporation which owns Idol, stated that last week they have lost 170 Millions in advertisement endorsement since Jlo and Steve been Idol judges in season 11, and also stated that Jlo & Tyler failed to bring up the ratings and decided that they want "new fresh energy" for next season 12, so don’t buy Jlo BS about her leaving, Idol is her only main source of income, her talent show Qviva was canceled due to poor TV ratings, her last album Love was a flop, no new main movie roles, and no new contracts in the future for her in any entertainment industry. After she leave Idol, she lose all of her
    endorsements and 15 minutes of fame is over.

    May 23, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. ginny

    I think This will be the last year that I watch American Idol. I am really discusted with the judges unfairness with tonight
    comments. Give me a break Phillips did not do as well as what they said he did. I would not say that he did better than Jessica. He has no voice ,good thing he had the marching band , he needed all the help he could get. I would not buy his music and I would not see him in concert, a few minutes of him and I have enough. Just my opinion. No comparition to the girl, now that is a singer.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • DandyLion

      I'd buy a cd of Phillip's. I wouldn't buy 1 of Jessica's. So there ya have it, different strokes for different folks. 1 thing's for sure, they both have a nice future ahead of them! $$$

      May 23, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Howard

    Disgusted with crotch grabbing performers. Detracts from the show that otherwise would be great. Jason on American Idol would otherwise have been great !!

    May 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brent

    I am hopefull this will be the final season of SYTYCD. These shows are just horrible. I'm so happy American Idol is falling in the ratings, there is light at the end of the tunnel that both of these shows will go away. Mary Murphy is possibly the most annoying personality to ever appear on television in the last 80 years. And Nigel, hasn't your visa expired yet?

    May 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • LiLa

      Brent, you are aware there are other channels to choose from on your TV, right? Some of us actually enjoy American Idol and SYTYCD and would prefer to keep our favorite shows for years to come.

      May 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |

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