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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 10

'American Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe still hoping to land Elton John

By Reality TV World staff, 08/30/2010 

American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe still hasn't given up on landing Elton John for the Fox reality competition's tenth-season judging panel.

"I'm still very supportive of Elton John," he told reporters while walking the red carpet at Sunday night's Emmy Awards, the New York Times reported Monday.  "[But] I don't believe negotiations have gone well."

While Steven Tyler has been widely reported to have already signed a deal to join Idol's judging panel and Jennifer Lopez has been reported to still possibly be in negotiations to join him, Lythgoe said that original Idol judge Randy Jackson is the only person currently inked to a judging contact.

"To set the record straight, what judges do we have signed on right now?" a Los Angeles Times reporter asked.

"As far as I know -- and I could be wrong with this -- Randy Jackson," Lythgoe replied.

"No J-Lo, no Steven Tyler?  None of that yet?" the reporter asked.

"We're still in negotiations," Lythgoe replied.

According to Lythgoe -- who rejoined the show last month following a two-year absence -- he doesn't know what Idol's tenth-season judging panel will look like yet.

"No, not at this point, I don't think so," he told the Times when asked if he knows who will end up on the show's tenth-season judging panel.

"We're going to wait and see who says yes, because at the end of the day it's going to be the chemistry between the judges that counts.  So while we're in this state of seeing whether people are available -- and that's the difficulty, you're asking them to open up four months of their calendar."

Fox has repeatedly declined to comment on the composition of the show's tenth-season judging panel but said the panel will be announced by the time the season's nationwide callback auditions begin with the judges begin in mid-September.

Reports that American Idol has been targeting John to replace departed judge Simon Cowell have circulated since January despite denials from the British singer.  Lythgoe first went public with his support for the idea in March.

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