Nigel Lythgoe Reporter Conference Call – It’s Time For Warmth

American Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe will answer reporters questions today at 1 pm ET. I’ll be on the call and live blogging the deets here, so watch this space!

  • What’s more important high ratings or selling records? Nigel says it depends on who you are. Nigel wants every single part to work. It’s a jigsaw puzzle that has to come together. “The judges really needed to be good this year.”   Went in a different direction because Simon is irreplaceable.
  • The Talent this year is “probably the best talent I’ve seen as a group on AI ever” When you watch the show tonight you will agree with me. Ratings have held up “brilliantly”. We are in a very good place.
  • Success of recording artists depends on the music they produce at the end of the day.
  • Confirms that 60 people went to Las Vegas.  Judges were careful to give people second opportunities. Some of the kids, even the Top 40, were given 2nd and 3rd chances.
  • Nigel confirms that last night the Green Mile was filmed.  Would not divulge how many contestants advanced. Said we’d have to watch the show to find out. The rumor is 24.
  • Something happened with Jennifer Lopez last night at the green mile taping that “touched us all”.
  • The role Randy is playing-he’s the anchor of the group–his role should not be dismissed. He’s using more words than “dawg”.
  • Nigel would not answer texting vs calls ratio question.  America was slower to catch on to texting than Europe.  The growth is palpable.  But he had no hard numbers for Idol.
  • Nigel is amazed that some American’s didn’t get the tongue in cheek nature of the “Steven Tyler apology”.  The reporter asking the question did not understand it was a joke. Uhm.
  • Are the judges too soft? Is that why the H’wood numbers were up?  Nigel says there was so much talent, it was hard to cut.  Giving more people an opportunity is a good thing.
  • Nigel never said he was “looking forward” to the contestants living together.  The contestants living together will NOT be a big brother situation.  It’s about seeing the constants in everyday settings. Nigel wants to “keep them together.”
  • Nigel has concerns about the judges in the live show.  It’s important to pin things down and say them in an articulate way in a short period of time.
  • Nigel is a stickler for staying on time.  “We need to be on time”.  He’ll be sitting next to the judges at breaks.
  • Haven’t done it yet, so there is some concern. Important to get proper critiques across to the contestants so they have the opportunity to improve. He’s not worried about Steven Tyler’s F bombs because of the 7 second delay.
  • Nigel would not answer any questions about Aerosmith’s future involvement in the show in a very wink wink sort of way.  “I can say nothing..ha ha..” It looks like Aerosmith may appear on the show.
  • However, Nigels says that “Steven Tyler is his own man.”  Aerosmith is not in his thoughts when he’s dealing with Steven. “I’m dealing with American Idol and a judge.”
  • Nigel says lots of talent on tonight’s show. and incredible production in Vegas next week.
  • People you think you like may lose it a little bit. “It’s a whole process of a journey, some people break through.”
  • The judges wait for talent to break through.  That’s why they give contestants more than one chance. “That will happen before your eyes, I hope you’ll see on the programs.”
  • Nigel has no problems with parents helping their kids.  Reminds us that there are professionals behind the scenes also helping the kids.
  • “There’s a lot of strength being in a group.” You’ll see the hopefuls as solo artists tonight. and “you’ll probably re-judge some of them.”
  • “Simon is very gracious” says Nigel.  “Simon’s X Factor in the UK is absolutely fantastic.”  The press overblows their “feud”.
  • Katharine McPhee’s mom is working as a vocal coach on Idol! “She’s very talented, ” says Nigel.
  • Why did we have fewer bad contestants this year? “You didn’t watch the LA show, ” snarked Nigel.
  • We had such good talent. “There’s lots of times where we hit our Top 20 and you don’t know who the hell 50% of them are. I would prefer to follow up on the journey of people we might be seeing later on rather than concentrate on a bunch of people that got kicked off the show that day.”
  • At the same time, Nigel says, “American Idol always will and always does show the very best and very worst.”  He loves watching the bad talent. “It’s British humor” says Nigel.
  • Nigel credits the talent and the judges for the success of the show this year.
  • Nigel felt the negativity Simon brought in 2002 at the start of the series was right for the time. And nobody can do it like him.  Today is different. Simon can’t be replaced.  They HAD to go in a different direction. Today’s economic crisis demands warmth and optimism.  A producer must judge the current times and society when creating a show.  IT’S TIME FOR WARMTH. The current panel provides that, says Nigel.
About mj santilli 34486 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!