Nigel Lythgoe says no more mean 'Idol'
December 10th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Nigel Lythgoe says no more mean 'Idol'

Doesn’t sound like “American Idol’s” Nigel Lythgoe is going to miss Simon Cowell at all next season.

The producer tells Emmy Magazine that “If you like people being mean to people, you’ll miss it” – an apparent dig at the acerbic Cowell, who left the show last season.

Lythgoe returns this season to the show, which has seen its ratings dip from the ginormous numbers of the past. He told the publication he thinks the talent competition will go on even without fan favorite Cowell, and he praised new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

“Do I think ‘Idol’ can stay at the top?” he said. “Yes, I absolutely do.  It dropped last year, and Simon Cowell was still in the show… [Lopez and Tyler] are artists, so there isn’t this attitude of, ‘Are you going to make me money?  Are you going to make my company money?'  It’s ‘Wow, you’re talented.’ Or as Steven says, ‘Your soul is singing to me.’”

The new judges are not as hung up on the contestants look and style, Lythgoe said.

“They haven’t got this attitude – you know, Simon, bless him, hated country music,” Lythgoe noted. So as soon as a country singer came in, he turned off straight away and they weren’t going to go anywhere.”

And, he said, returning judge Randy Jackson has really upped his game for the new season.

“He’s really stepped out of the shadow of Simon, if you will, and he’s his own man, making some very strong critiques,” Lythgoe said. “He says more than, ‘Pitchy, dog.’  I think Simon might have left him a thesaurus when he left.”

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. sandy

    The show dipped in ratings because two things. The singers already knew who the top two were, they were the only ones who could when simon is gone, this show will go right down the tubes. Simon is singing all the way to the bank. I give it this year it will be done. Tyler a drug adict and lopez...what a sight this will be no good judges at all, and this pitchy dog crap! Simon was honest and no country was not his favorite but he did say other country singers would sell more records, and she did....carrie underwood!

    December 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Alana

    That is one happy and adorable pitbull! What a cutie.

    December 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sunless

    who cares... only http://www.SUPERSONIC.US.COM

    December 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jen

    then also promise us Nigel to stop showing the people that suck and the people that are just actors there to cause a scene - you know what i'm talking about - do not send people thru to the judges that can't actually sing and you have no intention of ever sending them thru - i HATE that part of the show and will always tivo past it, so you are wasting yours and mine time!

    December 12, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. val

    it started going downhill the day paula wasn't simon who made the show. i don't plan on watching. i have no desire this season. and the mean critiques and brutal honesty from simon was exactly what some of these singers needed to hear and the funny people who thought they could sing but sang badly – that's also the part of idol people will miss. long's been fun until now.

    December 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LoJenk

    December 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jillmarie

    I for one will miss Simon! I'm a huge J.Lo fan and am sure Steve Tyler will be interesting, but still long for the days when Paula and Simon were on it. Thank goodness the dawg Randy didn't jump ship!

    December 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    Simon being mean to people was EXACTLY what America loved.

    December 11, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kimmie

    "Your soul is singing to me" – Can I barf? This is not American Idol; this is Extreme Makeover, Singing Edition. Bring back "That was totally pathetic", "You and Latin music go together like chocolate ice cream and an onion", and "You have a voice coach? Get a lawyer and sue her." That is what made Idol the Number One show in America, not this warm and fuzzy garbage coming out of glorified guest judges.

    LL is right; Simon isn't mean; he's honest. From now on, Idol contestants will hear nothing but lies and sugarcoating, and they will never be prepared for the real world of the music industry.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LL

    I don't think Simon was mean to contestants at all – he was being truthful. The entertainment industry is filled with "yes" people who will take advantage of someone's dream even if they don't have the talent for it so he's actually doing them a favor by telling them to pursue something else. There have been contestants on that show who have been highlighted who are taking singing lessons, etc. trying to chase a dream that will never be fulfilled. It's better for someone familiar with the industry to tell them that it's just not going to happen.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Totally agree with you.
      If one thinks that Simon C won't be missed On AI then...'whoever' has got another thought coming.......

      December 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |

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