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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

Ex-'Idol' producer: Adam Lambert may have only been in bottom three

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/05/2009 

American Idol enthusiasts crying conspiracy over eighth-season finalist Adam Lambert being among last week's bottom three vote-getters apparently have nothing to worry about, according to former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.

"They wouldn't lie about it; they're always honest with you," Lythgoe told The New York Post in a Friday report.

Lambert -- who is considered to be a favorite to claim Idol's eighth-season crown -- hit a bump in the road last week when he found himself in the bottom three with Matt Giraud and Kris Allen

Allen was the first finalist to learn he was safe before host Ryan Seacrest revealed it was Giraud and not Lambert who received the lowest amount of home viewer votes and would be booted.

However, while Lythgoe claims Lambert was in fact in the bottom three if that's the way producers presented it, he told The Post Lambert may not have been the week's second lowest vote-getter -- meaning that Allen could have received less votes than him but still could have learned his fate first.

According to Lythgoe, once the votes are collected and tabulated by AT&T and the show's survey firm, it's the producers who decide how to make revealing the results more exciting for viewers.

"All we're told at the end of the day is, 'Here are the Bottom 3,'" Lythgoe told The Post. "And we make whatever we can out of that and turn it into a show."

Lythgoe told The Post it's "up to the public at home" to draw conclusions based on the order in which finalists learn they are safe -- even if Seacrest specifically terms the last two contestants facing elimination to be the "bottom two," as he did with Lambert and Giraud during last week's results show.

Lythgoe confirmed last summer that he would be leaving his role as Idol's executive producer after serving in that capacity for the Fox mega-hit's first seven seasons. 

Shortly thereafter, Fox announced that Kara DioGuardi would be joining the show as a fourth judge -- a move Lythgoe has previously claimed would have never happened on his watch.

With only four finalists left and the season nearly in the books, Lythgoe reiterated that he's not a "huge fan" of having a fourth judge.

"It takes up too much time, and it puts the spotlight on the judges, not on the talent, which is where I prefer the spotlight," he told The Post, adding he still thinks DioGuardi is a "terrific judge" and "fabulous."

"It must've been really tough slotting into the family. It's a bit like becoming Simon Cowell's second wife, when the first wife is still sitting there."

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