American Idol 12: Nigel Lythgoe Insists he didn’t plant Mariah/Nicki Feud Footage

The American Idol judges, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson were ALL on their best behavior when The Hollywood Reporter’s, Shirley Halprin visited the set during Hollywood Week in December.

Both Mariah and Nicki declined to discuss the big blow out they had on set in North Carolina last October, but producer Nigel Lythgoe insists he didn’t plant the notorious item at TMZ:

It’s precisely that school of thought that prompts Idol fans, pundits and casual viewers alike to wonder whether the production itself is responsible for leaking the fight. To that, Lythgoe, who is seen in the one-minute clip trying to defuse the situation, has a laugh. “I don’t think I would’ve done it so far away from the beginning of the season,” he says. “Plus, it was about the judges and not the contestants, and I’m totally against that. So, no.”

For good measure, Lythgoe assures that, unlike Australia’s broadcast of American Idol, which is playing up the “War of the Divas” storyline (see sidebar) in a promo, he has no plans to use the footage in advance of or during the season.

Further, since everyone who works on Idol has to sign a confidentiality agreement that states in plain language that any video or audio of the show is proprietary material, an internal investigation was launched and, while the culprit never was identified, the producers came to the conclusion that it was shot from a monitor most likely by a local day hire in Charlotte, N.C. It’s a problem that persists even at Hollywood Week, where a production assistant abruptly was fired and tossed from the premises Dec. 15 for snapping a photo from the side of the stage.


Yet? Nicki is STILL throwing shade at Mariah:

To that end, one needn’t think back all that far — to the 2012 Grammys, for instance, when Minaj presented an exorcism-themed performance of her song “Roman Holiday” after walking the red carpet wearing a fire-red cloak and accompanied by a pope lookalike, or to any of her videos — to wonder: Would Minaj have to tone down her outre look to fit the Idol mold? “I could think of at least one other person that shows more cleavage and skin than me,” jabs Minaj, clearly insulted by the insinuation and rolling her inchlong false lashes in the direction of the dressing room two doors down: Carey’s.

It’s inevitable the sparks will fly when the live shows begin. I don’t think Nicki will be able to help herself.

A couple of other notes: The judges seating was mixed up every day on the road, just to keep things interesting. Producers, Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick insist that they DON’T watch the competition, even for homework’s sake.

Read the entire article at The Hollywood Reporter

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  • fuzzywuzzy

    Oh, sure, Nigel. I believe you. lol

  • Montavilla

    I’m glad to hear that they held an internal investigation.  If that wasn’t a Nigel leak (actually, even if it was), it was a serious breach of everyone’s trust.  Especially Nicki’s.

  • Montavilla

    I’m glad to hear that they held an internal investigation.  If that wasn’t a Nigel leak (actually, even if it was), it was a serious breach of everyone’s trust.  Especially Nicki’s.

  • Leandro

    Sure Nigel, you didn’t plant. You asked an intern to give them the tape.

    Trash girl keeps trash-talking. It’ gonna be fun to watch this trainwreck live.

  • mtlfan2

    for sure Nigel lol

  • Miz

    Doesn’t Nigel and company have any control over Australia using the footage in promos? I don’t believe him that they’re not going to use the feuding in any form on or to promote the show.

  • aj rabin

    Yawwwwn. Hey you didn’t plant THIS Nigel but what plants were there in the past??

  • fantoo1

    Why do so many people hate Nicki so much?

  • Kesia Monteith

    “and the fact that a newcomer like NBC’s The Voice, which averaged 12 million viewers during its most recent season, is treading ever more closely to Idol’s numbers, especially among younger viewers. (The X Factor seems, for the most part, to be a nonstarter, drawing an audience of about 8.7 million an episode.)”

    LOL, poor X-factor. Not even worth of a worry.

  • too-cool-for-school

    And yet, he is the one still talking about it with his friends at TMZ. Oh, Nigel. *SMH*