Nigel Lythgoe Confirms Return of Randy Jackson to American Idol, “No Idea” what will Happen to Kara DioGuardi (Update: Now with Video)

After telling E News after the BAFTA TeaParty Saturday night that “All seats are open” as far as the American Idol judges panel is concerned,   newly-returning Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe,   told  KTLA’s Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes on the red carpet about the upcoming season.

When asked if he could name a single judge who’d be around for Season 10… he did.

Lythgoe says that one seat on the panel has an occupant, and it’s Randy Jackson. Wait. Was that a confirmation? “I hope so, ” he says.

It looks like Randy Jackson is coming back.  Nigel tells CNN he has “no idea” what’s going to happen to Kara Dioguardi, but decisions about the judges panel will have to be nailed down within about 3 weeks.

UPDATE: Nigel Lythgoe also told the Los Angeles Times, on the Emmy red carpet last night, that Randy Jackson would be returning to American Idol. But as a caveat, he added, “I could be wrong about this.”

He played up the importance of chemistry on the panel, and the difficulty of hiring stars willing to open up 4 months of their schedules to Idol.

Nigel stressed that picking a capable judge has everything to do with their ability to spot talent–that person need not be a performer.  (Of course, it looks like the panel will be full of performers if they end up with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Jopez or Mariah Carey.)

Watch the video after the jump.

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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!