Nigel Lythgoe: Final Auditions Before Top 20 are Chosen is Today, "I Will Always Err Towards the Talent"

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Nigel Lythgoe tweets,

“Today is a big day The #Idol team meets the press in Pasadena this morning and then we hold the final auditions before the top 20 are chosen…I’m sure you all get tired of us saying “the best talent ever” “it’s going to be the best season” “blah, blah.” The irony is, they are GREAT”

“…we don’t have an elevator this year but we do have a very ‘lonely’ chair. 50% of the people sitting on it will be going home.”

SPOILERS PLEASE

In the meantime, Nigel  spoke with AdWeek about the changes coming with Season 10.

According to Nigel, UMG exec and mentor, Jimmy Iovine will be “shaping the music” on Idol along with the executive producers.   As mentor, Iovine will act as a truth teller.

If there’s a Simon Cowell on the new team,  I think it’s going to be Jimmy.

“If you get the talent right, then more people will be invested in watching this journey,” says Nigel, “But, if the judging is no good, you lose something from it as well. ”

“I will always err towards the talent…they are the ones that give credibility to the show at the end of the day.”

If Nigel reshapes Idol based on that sentiment, there’s hope for the aging show yet…

Video after the JUMP…

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  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Fingers crossed this isn’t just more BS

  • Valentin432

    Nigel admits that the only reason they aren’t changing the voting policy is that they can gloat about the numbers. That’s just silly to me.

    The press is going to be much worse when good people are eliminated because the voting process sucks.

  • koshka

    ouch! OMG cutting it to the chase and being full of spin. The whole vid was humorous to say the least.

    And I wonder what Ken thinks about all this. Must be rough being second banana. LOL

    ETA: I’d also like to know how Jimmy’s magic wand is going to increase sale of the winner by “controlling” the music during the show. So essentially Jimmy is going to create a beiber phenomenon in 3 short months?

  • tinawina

    Fingers crossed this isn’t just more BS

    Ditto.

    Good talent Nigel! That’s what its all about.

  • jumpstart

    Good talent Nigel! That’s what its all about.

    Yep, don’t waste my time with mediocre talent. Unfortunately, there’s been more than enough of that to go around the past couple of seasons.

  • BootStar

    I thought Nigel was surprisingly frank here.

    Funny how AdWeek displayed Tim as the guy who got past other “more talented” contestants. But who put Tim through in the first place? I wish this AdWeek guy asked Nigel about the inevitable fodder put through every stinking year. They need to put through 20 genuinely talented, able-to-compete, contestants and let the chips fall where they may. Make it more like an athletic competition than a scripted reality show. THAT would be a change I could live with.

  • Kirsten

    “I will always err towards the talent”

    Oh please, Nigel. Don’t go there. How many great singers have you cut for sub-standard singers because the better singers weren’t photogenic enough or were too much like another contestant or didn’t fit the plot-line for the season (i.e. could have been a threat to TCO)?

    Nigel is creating a television show. He does a good job at it. Talent isn’t his first goal. Creating good television is. That isn’t a knock on him, but he shouldn’t pretend he is something he is not.

  • windmills

    I get the feeling there’s going to be a lot of micromanagement and manipulation this season where they pick their pets and develop them at the expense of some who might not be seen as being as commercial. If the pets earn the pimping it’s good but if the pets become the pets because they fit a box or for non musical reasons then that’ll be tough to support.

  • Mary102

    windmills:
    01/11/2011 at 10:22 am
    I get the feeling there’s going to be a lot of micromanagement and manipulation this season where they pick their pets and develop them at the expense of some who might not be seen as being as commercial. If the pets earn the pimping it’s good but if the pets become the pets because they fit a box or for non musical reasons then that’ll be tough to support.

    This is my single greatest fear about S10 as well. Everything I’ve heard about Iovine I’m not particularly liking. Part of the charm of even the worst of previous seasons was getting a versatile group of people finding their way, or showing us what they could do, and being GENUINE (for the most part, and for better or worse) when they performed.

    I’m afraid, though, that Iovine is basically gonna pick his fav (my money is on a Bieber-esque 15 yo), and pick the “best” most poppy songs for them while having them make puppy dog eyes to swooning girls in the crowd to basically manufacture a star. Huge turn off for me. Even if S9 sucked, at least people like Casey, Crystal, Didi, etc were just up there doing their thing. I guess we shall see…

    Looking forward to the changes this year, but I’m still anxious about it.

  • jacquesthedog

    Hmm..First I thought having the judges and Jimmy decide who advances to the top 20 was a good idea..now I dunno! Why do I need to waste my time cheering for contestants that were canned and never made it to the top 20? I mean I might as well tune in when it gets to the point where the public has a choice rather then watching weeks of the contest knowing already who is not going through based on the spoilers?

  • Mary102

    jacquesthedog, that’s why sometimes it’s good to AVOID the spoilers, if you want to watch the show from the beginning without knowing who gets cut ;-)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Nigel is creating a television show. He does a good job at it. Talent isn’t his first goal. Creating good television is. That isn’t a knock on him, but he shouldn’t pretend he is something he is not.

    True. The #1 priority is getting the most viewers possible and keeping those advertising rates sky high.

    So the judges whittle down the contestants to 20, then does the public pick the final 10? (I couldn’t see the video.)

    I’m afraid, though, that Iovine is basically gonna pick his fav (my money is on a Bieber-esque 15 yo), and pick the “best” most poppy songs for them while having them make puppy dog eyes to swooning girls in the crowd to basically manufacture a star. Huge turn off for me. Even if S9 sucked, at least people like Casey, Crystal, Didi, etc were just up there doing their thing. I guess we shall see…

    I think that there’s a good chance of that happening (especially with the constant touting of the really young contestants). It sounds like Iovine and his producers may show a lot more favoritism and engage in more “molding” of contestants than in previous years.

  • larc

    I’ve thought it from the start but am now more convinced than ever that Idol “sold its soul” to Universal when it contracted with them. It seems Jimmy Iovine is likely calling a lot of the shots. When Nigel came back, I thought he would definitely be putting Ken Warwick on a leash. But in addition I’m not so sure that Jimmy, as Universal’s on-site overseer, doesn’t have a sort of one on Nigel.

  • Miss Blue

    Frankly, with the love affair the producers seem to have with the baby contestants this year, they have to micro-manage. A 15 year old just doesn’t have the musical chops to know what’s best for his/her voice, the production of the song, etc. Unless they have reincarnated Judy Garland.

    And this is going to be a short season for me if I have to suffer through a Bieber being pimped. Can’t stand the original, sure not going to tolerate a clone.

  • Kitwana

    I totally agree that Nigel wants a Bieber or a sexier version of Miley to win Season 10. Question is what can Nigel/Iovine really do if voters want to continue the David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze trend of mid-20s male who sings pop-rock destined for the HotAC charts? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Brian’s Idol Chatter had a post about the typical Idol viewer and that viewer is from the South, female, over 25, married and with some college education. I say the trend easily continues for a 4th year.

  • gangreen29

    I totally agree that Nigel wants a Bieber or a sexier version of Miley to win Season 10. Question is what can Nigel/Iovine really do if voters want to continue the David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze trend of mid-20s male who sings pop-rock destined for the HotAC charts? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Brian’s Idol Chatter had a post about the typical Idol viewer and that viewer is from the South, female, over 25, married and with some college education. I say the trend easily continues for a 4th year.

    I don’t agree with this. If Nigel has been on season 8 and 9 we wouldn’t have had Kris or Lee as winners. It is easy to see what ways both of them could have been cut down if they posed a threat. The show treated both pretty well up until the end though. Three weeks of harping on Lee’s off key singing and he could have been gone, but instead the judges kept praising him. Nigel will get the winner he wants this year.

  • Buffynut

    jacquesthedog:
    01/11/2011 at 10:54 am
    Hmm..First I thought having the judges and Jimmy decide who advances to the top 20 was a good idea..now I dunno! Why do I need to waste my time cheering for contestants that were canned and never made it to the top 20? I mean I might as well tune in when it gets to the point where the public has a choice rather then watching weeks of the contest knowing already who is not going through based on the spoilers?

    But this isn’t much different than it’s been though. The judges and producers have always chosen the Top 24. There are just 4 less people this year. We’ve never gotten to vote until the semi final rounds of 24 (except for the few years they tried the 36 thing.)

  • emmuzka

    I’m getting tired of all the talk about talent. Of course they need talented people, because they tend to earn more money in the music business (if not always), but they can’t put people through based on talent only. It’s ridiculous that they try to maintain the image that they would do so, when we know it’s not so.

    People are getting through or pimped because they have sob stories, or because they offer a nice contrast to some other contestant. People are getting through or *not* going through because they need people representing many races and types: We’ll NEVER see a season with two guys with indian or mexican ancestors, or two rocker chicks or two flamingly gay.

    This is because foremost it’s about good television. And a bunch of super talented, make-no-errors, super nice and likeable people that are basically the same and who no-one can hate would be boring as hell.

  • larc

    emmuzka:
    And a bunch of super talented, make-no-errors, super nice and likeable people with no-one can hate would be boring as hell.

    Somebody like that would be the most hated contestant ever. If there’s one thing Idol voters can’t abide, it’s obvious winners.

  • Kitwana

    I don’t agree with this. If Nigel has been on season 8 and 9 we wouldn’t have had Kris or Lee as winners. It is easy to see what ways both of them could have been cut down if they posed a threat. The show treated both pretty well up until the end though. Three weeks of harping on Lee’s off key singing and he could have been gone, but instead the judges kept praising him. Nigel will get the winner he wants this year.

    I like Nigel but I don’t think he has that much power. Nigel was the producer in Season 7. Did he get the winner he wanted that year? We will never know who he wanted to win but I suspect that he wanted to beef up the teen demo by getting back to back teen winners. He did not get it.

  • shwriteme

    Those ads with sound are sooooo annoying. It keeps going off while I watch the video. Is there a way to turn them off?

  • ross

    Totally agree that Nigel wants a Bieber or a sexier version of Miley to win Season 10. Question is what can Nigel/Iovine really do if voters want to continue the David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze trend of mid-20s male who sings pop-rock destined for the HotAC charts?

    Once again, wasn’t Kris the first male Idol winner to have a Top 10 hit on Pop? I’m not just dreaming that, am I? Sometimes I think I am, when I read this stuff every single day.

  • J9BT

    ross:
    01/11/2011 at 1:08 pm
    Totally agree that Nigel wants a Bieber or a sexier version of Miley to win Season 10. Question is what can Nigel/Iovine really do if voters want to continue the David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze trend of mid-20s male who sings pop-rock destined for the HotAC charts?

    Once again, wasn’t Kris the first male Idol winner to have a Top 10 hit on Pop? I’m not just dreaming that, am I? Sometimes I think I am, when I read this stuff every single day.

    ross – I believe you are correct. I also thought Kris was the only IDOL whose album debut single hit Top 10 in 3 genres – Pop, HAC and AC, although maybe I’m not remembering correctly.

    Kitwana:
    01/11/2011 at 12:09 pm
    I don’t agree with this. If Nigel has been on season 8 and 9 we wouldn’t have had Kris or Lee as winners. It is easy to see what ways both of them could have been cut down if they posed a threat. The show treated both pretty well up until the end though. Three weeks of harping on Lee’s off key singing and he could have been gone, but instead the judges kept praising him. Nigel will get the winner he wants this year.

    I like Nigel but I don’t think he has that much power. Nigel was the producer in Season 7. Did he get the winner he wanted that year? We will never know who he wanted to win but I suspect that he wanted to beef up the teen demo by getting back to back teen winners. He did not get it.

    I’m also pretty sure they were stinking mad about Jason Castro making it to Top 4 in Season 7….and about Sanjaya making it to Top 7 in Season 6! :-)

  • tinawina

    Nigel was the producer in Season 7. Did he get the winner he wanted that year? We will never know who he wanted to win but I suspect that he wanted to beef up the teen demo by getting back to back teen winners.

    Early on they backed Archie, but I always thoguht it was pretty obvious that by the end, they wanted Cook to win. They wanted a David vs David finale and a Cookie win IMO.

  • koshka

    Once again, wasn’t Kris the first male Idol winner to have a Top 10 hit on Pop? I’m not just dreaming that, am I? Sometimes I think I am, when I read this stuff every single day.

    One hit doesn’t make a pop artist – two hits.. m a y b e. The script, Plain-white tees, owl city, (heck even Daughtry these day) have all had a smashing pop hit and are struggling to make it up the pop chart a second time. Pop-rock for the moment mostly resides on HAC. There is no shame in being an HAC artist.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Early on they backed Archie, but I always thoguht it was pretty obvious that by the end, they wanted Cook to win. They wanted a David vs David finale and a Cookie win IMO.

    I think that they may have seen how Cook’s AI songs were selling on iTunes, and that was what made them switch their support to him from Archie.

  • sma11ie

    If Nigel has been on season 8 and 9 we wouldn’t have had Kris or Lee as winners.

    I agree with Gangreen. Nigel was a much better manipulator than whoever tried in S8 and S9. I think by the end, he got the winner he ultimately wanted in both S6 and S7.

  • Kitwana

    Early on they backed Archie, but I always thoguht it was pretty obvious that by the end, they wanted Cook to win. They wanted a David vs David finale and a Cookie win IMO.

    I think you’re right. In 2008, Daughtry’s debut CD was on the way to selling 5x platinum and his singles were all over Top 40. With the similarities between David C. and Daughtry and with David C’s iTunes sales, I’m sure Nigel and Simon Fuller saw big $$$$$ in future with David C as the winner. Really can’t blame them for changing their mind. 2008 may have been the height of the Jonas Brothers, but there was really no indication until David A and then Bieber of course that a solo teen male could move CD’s.

  • Mary102

    Question is what can Nigel/Iovine really do if voters want to continue the David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze trend of mid-20s male who sings pop-rock destined for the HotAC charts?

    Ahh, there’s the rub. More specifically – how do you get an aging, predominantly female voting idol block to vote for a new Bieber or Miley? Not very easily, imo.

  • Mary102

    Early on they backed Archie, but I always thoguht it was pretty obvious that by the end, they wanted Cook to win. They wanted a David vs David finale and a Cookie win IMO.

    I think David C. and Lee were basically similar stories in that respect. Originally, TPTB wanted both Archie and Crystal to win, then saw the itunes sales (and votes) and switched to Cook and Lee instead.

  • Mary102

    Kitwana, just saw the rest of your post, and realized my comment was redundant, lol. Yes, we’re in agreement – the idol voting block is gonna greatly impact any attempts to crown a teen pop idol. And the new judges and changes are NOT gonna bring in the young fans again, imo. I’m sorry, but no 16 yo knows who Steven Tyler is. LOL

  • gangreen29

    I like Nigel but I don’t think he has that much power. Nigel was the producer in Season 7. Did he get the winner he wanted that year? We will never know who he wanted to win but I suspect that he wanted to beef up the teen demo by getting back to back teen winners. He did not get it.

    Nigel definitely wanted David Cook to win. I remember behind the scenes reports of Nigel grinning ear to ear and celebrating whenever Cook performed. Archie was the fake front runner, like Melinda. Just another one of Nigel’s tricks lol

    I’m sorry, but no 16 yo knows who Steven Tyler is. LOL

    Really? I think people don’t give young people enough credit around here. 16 year olds aren’t imbeciles.

  • Mark

    I think David C. and Lee were basically similar stories in that respect. Originally, TPTB wanted both Archie and Crystal to win, then saw the itunes sales (and votes) and switched to Cook and Lee instead.

    Yep. I’m not sure they would have necessarily felt too badly if Crystal or Archie had won, though. But Cook and Lee were in good standing by the end.

    Kitwana, just saw the rest of your post, and realized my comment was redundant, lol. Yes, we’re in agreement – the idol voting block is gonna greatly impact any attempts to crown a teen pop idol. And the new judges and changes are NOT gonna bring in the young fans again, imo. I’m sorry, but no 16 yo knows who Steven Tyler is. LOL

    True, true. Either they’re expecting to draw in new kinds of fans (and are thus delusional), or are expecting an older-skewing, predominately female audience to vote for the next Justin Bieber (and are thus delusional). Or it could just all be a sham.

    Really? I think people don’t give young people enough credit. 16 year olds aren’t imbeciles.

    I expect most would. I also expect most wouldn’t care. Same, honestly, with J Lo.

  • koshka

    Really? I think people don’t give young people enough credit around here. 16 year olds aren’t imbeciles.

    Well there are certainly enough imbecile adults running around.. you’d think that they have to start somewhere. ;)

    Personally I could careless what age they are as long as they put aside the sob story and display some talent.

  • sma11ie

    I think David C. and Lee were basically similar stories in that respect. Originally, TPTB wanted both Archie and Crystal to win, then saw the itunes sales (and votes) and switched to Cook and Lee instead.

    Actually, I tend to agree more with Gangreen that if Nigel didn’t want Lee to win, he would have nipped his popularity train at the bud. He wouldn’t have gained the momentum to pass Crystal unless Nigel allowed it. Like Gangreen said:

    Three weeks of harping on Lee’s off key singing and he could have been gone, but instead the judges kept praising him.

  • tinawina

    Either they’re expecting to draw in new kinds of fans (and are thus delusional), or are expecting an older-skewing, predominately female audience to vote for the next Justin Bieber (and are thus delusional). Or it could just all be a sham.

    I think they are counting on cute 15 and 16 year old contestants to lure back some tweens on their own. JLo could bring in some younger women (and perhaps more people of color) and Steven might get more of the husbands to sit down and even participate. If they diversify the viewership away from older females a bit, they might have a shot to shake things up. But only if they produce the kind of contestants that will make these people not just stick around to watch, but want to vote.

    Honestly, if they just put some GOOD, CHARISMATIC girls through and not undermind them at every turn, it shouldn’t be that hard.

  • Mary102

    Really? I think people don’t give young people enough credit around here. 16 year olds aren’t imbeciles.

    Not knowing who Steven Tyler is doesn’t equal me calling 16 yo’s imbeciles – it’s a matter of relevant pop culture. I know hardly anything about the 1960s, that doesn’t make me stupid o_O

  • gangreen29

    Not knowing who Steven Tyler is doesn’t equal me calling 16 yo’s imbeciles – it’s a matter of relevant pop culture. I know hardly anything about the 1960s, that doesn’t make me stupid o_O

    All I know is that when I was 16 which was only 7 years ago, a lot of my friends favorite music was from the 60s and 70s. A lot of teens listen to classic rock. Even beyond music taste I think it is patronizing to say 16 year olds wouldn’t know who Steven is because of their age. A lot of 16 year olds have a great understanding of music history, and most people I know are aware of popular culture references that were before their time.

  • Mary102

    gangreen29, that is your own experience, but my point stands. Do a poll of 16 yo’s (or 12-16 yo’s) and the majority will either not know who he is or not care (in terms of wanting to watch AI for it). Just because you personally are familiar with something doesn’t mean MOST people of that age are. I am sure we could find exceptions to everything, obviously, but my point is, in broad, societal terms, teens are not likely to be drawn to idol because of Steven Tyler.

  • gangreen29

    I am sure we could find exceptions to everything, obviously, but my point is, in broad, societal terms, teens are not likely to be drawn to idol because of Steven Tyler.

    What you said was that no 16 year old would know who Steven Tyler is. I wasn’t trying to make a point about whether Steven Tyler will draw viewers, I just think it is ridiculous to say no 16 year old is going to know a big name like Steven Tyler. I think that is selling 16 year olds a bit short, thats all.

  • ross

    One hit doesn’t make a pop artist – two hits.. m a y b e.

    Where is that written?