Nigel Lythgoe on Simon Cowell “He Just Got Too Big For His Boots”

I love Nigel Lythgoe. He’s such a hoot.

US magazine caught up with him at the So You Think You Can Dance auditions in Oakland, CA, where the newly-re-installed Idol producer proceeded to trash Simon Cowell

“We’ve had some incredible country voices — in truth, Simon would have gotten rid of them straight-away because he wasn’t a country fan, ” Lythgoe told Us. “This season we have a 16-year-old kid with an incredible voice and a jazz kid who does this fabulous scat-singing. Again, we wouldn’t have had him on the show because Simon would have said, ‘He’s not an American Idol! Get rid of him!’ … What you are definitely going to get this season is an American voice and American music.”

With Cowell gone, “The energy in the audition rooms is totally different, ” Lythgoe told Us. “You aren’t tired at the end of the day, even though we are seeing twice as many kids as we did in the past. We are enjoying it; we are laughing.”

He said that while the new judges “are being tough” with contestants, Idol hopefuls aren’t being criticized for their appearances, unlike past seasons.

“It’s not about saying, ‘You are carrying too much weight, you don’t look like an American Idol, ‘” Lythgoe told Us. “What I see is warmth and artistic understanding of the person standing in front of them.”

Lythgoe reiterated that Cowell — who quit the show earlier this year to launch a U.S. version of The X-Factor — “is not involved at all” next season. “He’s never been a producer, ” he added. “Simon Fuller created Idol. Simon Cowell has never had a producer credit. He just got too big for his boots.”

Oh. BURN. Nigel throws down the gauntlet! I’m hoping for an all-out media feud.  Ken Warwick was NEVER this much fun.

Of course, Nigel praises his new judges.  On Steven Tyler, he says, “If Steven Tyler doesn’t like the voice, he’ll say, ‘I hear your soul. But it’s not in the voice of American Idol. Thanks so much for coming, ”

On Jennifer Lopez,   “[she] is growing in stature all the time. She’s her own person, and she knows what she wants to say, and she’ll just start saying it: ‘Now what I think is this.’ And it isn’t anything trite … it’s from her heart and she means it.””

On Randy Jackson, “Randy is not the Randy you know. Randy has been in the shadows. He’s not that same person, he’s standing up.””

Never mind that viewers LOVED Simon Cowell, because he was brutally honest, and yes…sometimes nasty.  We’ll see how that “kinder gentler” Idol works out next year.

About mj santilli 35025 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!