Fans should prepare for some changes when "American Idol" returns to Fox on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but one change they won't be seeing is a larger emphasis on hip-hop.
With Nicki Minaj joining the judges' panel last year, it was questioned if "Idol" would see an uptick in artists closer to Minaj's profile: rap artists who can also sing.
But, "American Idol" executive producer Lythgoe told CNN last week, he doesn't see that happening anytime soon.
"I don’t believe so. I don’t think rap really fits in to 'American Idol' in the sense that I believe rap is an art form in itself more akin to poetry, more akin to drama, if you will," he said during a press call last week. "I think rap in the street when they have rap competitions is thrilling because these kids are making it up and having a go at each other. They’ve got something to say. This is about getting their frustrations out. Hip-hop is a way of life. It isn’t a genre in truth in 'American Idol.'"
(If that disheartens you as an aspiring artist, keep in mind that Minaj herself has urged developing rappers to steer clear of "Idol," telling press last month that she “definitely [doesn't] think a rapper should be in this competition. ... The hip-hop community wants you to be credible. ... I would never go on a show like this as a rapper. I wouldn’t encourage anyone else as a rapper to come on. I don’t think it's authentic.")
With that squared away, Lythgoe went on to mention the changes that are going to take place: the show made an effort to head out into smaller towns to find potential contestants who may not have been able to make it to auditions held in a larger neighboring city, which widened the talent pool; they also used "I Nominate," which let friends and family nominate a strong vocalist who was too nervous or shy to head out for the audition; and they've switched Hollywood Week up a bit.
"First time ever in Hollywood Week, we split the weeks up and gave a week to the boys and then a week to the girls, which really gave us an awful lot more focus on our talent this year that allowed us to see the woods through the trees, if you will," he said. "We’re going to continue to do that during the Vegas rounds as well up until the point we get to our top ten."
As for his oft-bickering new judges, Lythgoe admitted that he wasn't thrilled with the behavior displayed thus far, or the resulting reports.
"I don’t think that’s been a bonus in any way, shape or form, to be frank. It’s not publicity that I welcomed," he told press. "I really do - and I’ve said all the way since we began this show - it’s about the contestants. The judges are always going to be interesting because they are who they are, but the show is about the contestants. I don’t really want to know that there’s been a huge blow-up between them or anything like that and have it all taken out of proportion ... I’m not into that sort of publicity."
And yet, there's no denying that some viewers will be watching specifically for the catfights. "Everybody tells me I should be grateful for that," Lythgoe went on. "I would much prefer that they watch because these judges are excellent. Nicki Minaj I think is one of the best judges I’ve ever worked with."
His hope is that the focus will stay on the talent at hand - although he emphasizes that "Idol" isn't just looking for a great set of pipes, like another show we could name.
"It isn’t always about the voice; it is about charisma, it is about personality, it is about attracting an audience and doing that week on week," Lythgoe said, noting that the girls are a talented bunch this season.
"That is not to say that one of the boys will not sneak in because there are, I would say just off the top of my head, five or six really good guys and only five of them are going to make the top 10. At the end of the day when you’ve got five guys and five girls, the strength of talent, the depth of talent, doesn’t matter. You’re still only dealing with five males and five females. It’s anybody’s game at that stage."
The horrible judges are ruining Idol. A complete embarrassment!
Can you say liar? Nigel just wants the ratings to go up because they were down on the first show. She is horrible...she is trash with no class.
THANK GOD you have called the world's attention to this travesty, You should get a special certificate or something.
First year I haven't watched IDOL and it is because of Nicki Minaj. Will not watch a single episode.
If this is the first year that you have not watched IDOL, then this is the first year you have not lived as a total braindead fart breather, AND FOR THAT WE SALUTE YOU!!!
teevoley has their tickets.
Minaj is revolting, obnoxious, annoying trash. Watched the first two audition episodes and that's it. After watching Idol since Season 1, I am done.
I am with you on this one. I found myself totally annoyed and in a bad mood after watching her. I rather skip it this year. Just a shame because I like the show.
I have watched AI since it started and I can honestly say that this is the worst season I have ever seen. All the arguments, making fun of contestants and most of all, Nikki is trying to control the show. Since when can someone like her say who has talent and who doesn't. It seems like she is saying outrageous things to keep the cameras on her. I predict that American Idol is over............................
i give them 900 a month to pitch in....the basement? I built it...live at home...so what..we all did?
dont' want to pay 2,000 a month for crappy box in edgwater–bye bye....
i have a warm cozy big house.
that was to get gaga too sing walk this way....7 puzzled locked hidden. bureau is letting go...sometimes nikki lives on the edge even if its making her look like she has nothing to get what she needs but it was all worth it for the press–pictures movies...nobody cares didn't affect anything and never wil especially when i head to my next job position.
i'm heading to the see.e..oe soon.
i do wish you well–but life must go on and negative is over for nikki. we must focus on good things...
and why? because life is too short. onward we go into 2013
God I wish all these morons would stop with the 'Shes looks like such a freak' crap. DO you want all pop stars to wear boring jeans and t-shirt and sing about love? Yes you prolly do cause you BORING!!!!
YESSSS you have nailed it. we are BORRRRING. I personally enjoy my boring ness and rub it all over my self languidly and with exagerated massaging motions, What were we talking about?
Don't know what Nigel has been smoking. Minaj is a no talent, classless, obnoxious, narcisisstic woman. She may single handedly destroy AI.
You are totally RIGHT. I'm not watching EVER again!
what a catch
I don't know what Nikki been saying, but I really want some cotton candy baad.
she was picked on and we had too smash the intrusion...want that white.
gaga picked on her and we had to smash it...
i need some "white" hope i can see u...
Keith Urban is a class act. Randy Jackson needs to change his same old, same old garbage. Mariah Carey is a
pleasant enough person and seems sincere. Nicki Minaj is just so annoying and ridiculous looking that it's almost
worth giving up the show completely, but I like to see the talent when it gets down to the real talent.
99% of the people who write in here are idiots. The word is you're, not your, and some of you need to seriously get
some English lessons...what a bunch of illiterates.
Nicki Minaj is just the latest no-talent train wreck to grace AI judges table. looks like she's wearing one of Christina Aguilera's old wigs. She is a weird freak show almost as bad as Britney Spears. AI is still one of the most pointless shows on TV. Go away.
gaga was there.
we da best.
Nicki is a great singer but has absolutely no brains. She is sooo annoying. When she talks she does not add anything useful to the discussion/evaluation of the participant. She never has anything intelligent to say. She is sooo annoying that I am not watching AI anymore. I couldn't take her comments anymore after 10 minutes or so.
i really want niki signed on again...she's truly a talent nobody will ever match....hahahaha
and i will support the american idol and hope they alllll sign up again..
WE LOVE THIS SHOW...
she's a fat low life now..
Her chubbiness makes me want to gnaw on her and enjoy juicy fatt nastiness and it tastes SOOOO GOOD. and she's freaky so that's a plus.
I watched AI for 10 minutes the other night for the first time in about 6-7 years.. Worst show ever. The judges arguing takes away from the contestants. I have a question, what does Nicki Minaj do? Does she have a talent? YUCK YUCK YUCK. Maybe i will watch the show again in 2020.
Nicki Minaj is just the hottest new female rapper since Lil Kim – but, y'know, no biggy!
I may not be in the desired demographic for the show, but I have enjoyed AI for about six years. As I read the stories of the NM/MK spats before the current season began I was worried. My worries have come true. If NM keeps up the adolescent attacks on MK I will have to move on – it's too painful to watch. It may be appealing to 14 year-old girls, and I suppose that is the goal of turning the show from a talent search to a catfight. Has AI simply jumped the shark in an attempt to improve ratings? I agree that NM has judging skills, and truly hope she can develop decent relationships with the other judges, all of whom I like. But it appears that she is trying to take over the show with her clown suits and antics. AI, please come back!
It's spellt Mariah Carey – with a C, not a K. K?!
Nicki Manij is a no talented,self centered piece of trash.I don't see why she is on "Idol" and I don't understand why "Idol" is still on the air.The show should have been cancelled after last year.I will not watch "Idol" any this season.Lady Gaga would have been a better judge.I feel sorry for Randy Jackson and Keith Urban.They have to be in the middle of all that drama.Please..please..PLEASE let this be the very last season of "Idol" and quit polluting people's eyes with garbage.
Why all the hate for Gaga and Minaj? They are successful whether we like them or not.
Every other judge on American Idol is better than her...not sure what Nigel means by saying she is one of the best judges he's worked with.
now she's a brunette and looks much better...shoot gotta run.
Is Nikki's hair real? It look like cotton candy.
we want joy and future happiness and this will happen because life is too short to be bitter towards keith urban and the cast of American Idol
American Idol 2013 is a train wreck. Toooooo much about the judges. Hate Nikki – too full of herself. American Idol turning in to the Jerry Springer of Reality Singing shows. Can't wait until So You Think You Can Dance – Nigel don't mess with it. The judges are there for the contestants not for themselves as American Idol has turned into.
Deleted American Idol from my DVR
Lythgoe comes off as a creepy pervert on the show he judges on, and Minaj is an idiot.
saw an interview with her this morning...
"rap artists who can also sing"
Which excludes Minaj.
Talentless dumb drama queen.
i'm so glad they love to worth together.
your never keep your mouth closed.
everyone hates gaga she should be aware of that by now.
she cannot handle it like nikki can. poor thing stuck in the mansion all alone.
how sad she is...take your meds gaga...your being watched
she always falls into the same trap like always. she's such train wreck and embarrassment to everyone.
gaga has no charisma whatsoever.
its incredible–other 4 "not close"
medical assistance is required for gaga–she doesn't understand she's trapped all day long.
pie in face.
Memo to Nigel
I have watched American Idol since season one. I will NOT be watching this year. Not only because I cannot stand Niki Minaj – I have never and will never like Mariah Carey.
You made 2 terrible choices and for that – you have lost me as a viewer.
I have watched American Idol since season one. I will NOT be watching this year. Not only because I cannot stand Niki Minaj
100% correct, we didnt watch this last session of idol for that reason get rid of niki, we have watched idol for years but when you brought niki ok board the show lost its flavor
i guees you dont need the ratings, the voice is were alot of people went to as a fall back, and their ratings are going up while idol is going down
saw her in an interview this morning...
Wait, a producer is making wildly positive hyperbolic state,nets about his own show? Shocking!
I still don't understand why AI hired two judges, one hip hop and the other country when AI is trying to find a pop star. AI should not allow the contestants to play an instrument and they should have more weeks where the contestants have to sing current pop songs. Once the contestants are narrowed down to four or five I would like them to sing two songs on an episode. However, I would like to hear each contestant sing the same song to see how each one would interpret it. Also, tone down the theatrics, no need for marching bands, explosives, or fire. But, like others I will not be watching due to the hiring of Nicki Minja and Keith Urban.
you will never meet again–number 1 yay
is a fine fine actor....
we love nikki she's the best of the best....next.
i like nikki she's got guts..
haaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa–no then shut up
"Nikki Minaj is one of the best judges I've ever woked with" I hate LIARS!
Like. I agree. Minaj is an embarisment.
nikki is the bomb
So is your spelling, Marie. Embarassment.
Take your meds...you look like a fool...there are 4 more go find them...
dinne 6pm sharp..channel 2..
As a Hispanic I do not hate Nicki M. She just seems like an ugly cow though.
be home for dinner by 6pm? k?
Then why is it, year after year, the winner just vanishes or their career is what one would call far less than stellar. A couple of successes out of all the seasons they have run is just embarrassing as is this show, anymore.
Nicki Minaj is just trash. We will NOT be watching.
I bet and hope it will have the lowest ratings of any show on TV. No Nikki Minaj for us. She is mega gross.
We will not be watching at our house. Since Nikki Minaj became a judge our home has become an Idol free zone.
Lol Nicki Minaj controls your lives. "Why the bums so mad that the Queen on Idol huh?" – Nicki Minaj
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