Nigel Lythgoe called into TMZ Friday, to talk about the Jessica Sanchez elimination/save and to set Harvey Levin straight about his claim that the judges knew ahead of time that Jessica got the lowest number of votes.
Nigel says he might have hinted to the panel that something big was coming and to get their save ready, but he would never reveal who was going to be eliminated or lobby them to use their save in a particular way, as Harvey’s “source” is claiming.
Harvey pressed the point that his source described Nigel’s approach to the judges as more “aggressive” than he’s characterizing it. Nigel counters that Jennifer Lopez has her own mind and does exactly what she wants. “You’re not booking somebody to tell them what to do,” Nigel insists.
Nigel says that even when it looks like it’s rigged, it’s not. At the end of the day, Nigel admits, he’s quite happy that people are up in arms because it’s great publicity.
In order to stay in the game, says Nigel, Jessica has to show some personality and pick songs that America connects with. That goes for all of them, he says.
“It’s America’s favorite singer at the end of the day,” reminds Nigel, “It’s not America’s best singer. They all must remember that.”
Ha ha. I love Nigel and Harvey behaving like they’re teams aren’t working together.