American Idol 11: Nigel Lythgoe Wants YOUR Ideas for a Modern Idol Theme!

American Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe is taking the criticism that American Idol needs more modern, relevant themes to heart.  Last night, he asked twitter users to suggest modern artist songbooks the finalists could cover. I posted some of the best suggestions below.

Personally, I would be careful to craft a theme that would offer the contestants new (ish) songs that have the potential to be classics. A “Hot 100” theme is too broad. Contestants tend to do better when the theme is narrowed a bit. My favorite ideas were songwriter and producer themes.

By the way, what I mean by relevant, are themes that feature music relevant to today’s charts. There’s a difference between featuring a classic band like the Beatles, a band whose influence still resonates with artists today vs Billy Joel who hasn’t had a legitimate hit in years. …

Nigel (@dizzyfeet) got the conversation going, “I’m wondering which other “modern” artist has a big singbook we should be singing. We’ve done Adele, Bruno, GaGa, Pink, Alicia.”

The responses came in fast and furious.

Suggestions for Madonna had Nigel crying “Not for the guys!” Although if the girls can handle Billy Joel, why not, I say.

Idol finalist, Colton Dixon tweeted COLDPLAY!

Idol pundit, @LindseyParker suggested a Hair metal, power ballad theme.

@SongBird3411 made a suggestion Nigel really liked, “songs from the past decade” or “songs from movies in the past decade”.  As long as there are no covers on the list, I say go for it!

Another Idol pundit, @MichaelSlezakTV suggested, “Why not focus on songwriters? Linda Perry, Max Martin, the Neptunes, Kara DioGuardi…they’ve all written scads of chart-toppers.”

@AnnieKolzak suggested, “How about the Timbaland catalog? He’s produced for EVERYONE, so it’d be a wide, contemporary, selection.”

@Newbornstarr offered, “Songs from the Past Decade, 90s, Billboard Hot 100, 90s theme, etc.”

Nigel thinks The Billboard Hot 100 “probably gives the contestants the most choice and is the most up to date.”

What do you think? Do you have any ideas for modern classics the finalists could cover?

About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!