American Idol: Nigel Lythgoe on Limiting the Voting and Expanding the Judges Power

New interview with Nigel Lythgoe from TV Line:

On limiting the voting and allowing the judges to choose who goes home after a SYTCD style sing off (Nigel is NOT a fan of the Save:

We have spoken about it. We continue to speak about it. It’s very difficult to go from saying we had 120 million votes [in Season 10] then turning around next year and saying, “We got 15, 000 votes this week!” A number of people in the [last] meeting we had thought that would not be good for the program, and it could be taken the wrong way. I mean, it’s never going to be 15, 000, really; we’d probably be down to 30 million, but people would use that to say the program is losing viewers. That said, there still could be a ceiling put on certain votes, be it text [votes], maybe. I think we currently limit online voting to 50 votes, so maybe we could do the same for texting. We’re still discussing. I still like the judges being able to sort of look at the Bottom 2, and choose one of them, or assist in America’s vote. Don’t forget: America doesn’t vote people off the program, it votes to keep people on the program. And in that, rather like [So You Think You Can] Dance, the Bottom 2 could be looked at and the decision could be made by the judges.

Nigel thinks a sing-off would be more suspenseful

I think so. There’s a challenge there that gives the program a little more interest. I’m not, as I’ve said in the past, a huge fan of the Judges’ Save, however, I was grateful it was there [in Season 10] because it gave us a wonderful moment with Casey. So I can be swayed in my personal opinion, that’s for sure. I was delighted it was there, but just in prinicipal I don’t like the Save: I’d much prefer if it were a sing-off.

So there you have it. What do you think of a SYTYCD style sing off? Personally, I would hate it and can think of no other reason to institute it than to give the producers more power to end up with the winner they want.

I’m neutral on limiting votes. I think everybody will be surprised that it WON’T change who walks away with the crown…

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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!