'Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe admits to sixth season 'mistakes'
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/24/2007
American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe apparently feels the Fox mega-hit should focus more on its aspiring singers and less on the established mentors who provide the contestants support.
"We realized we made mistakes on Idol last season," Lythgoe told reporters attending the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday, according to Entertainment Weekly. "We were so engrossed with the mentors and didn't really focus on the Melinda Doolittles of the show. We didn't know them as much as the Kellie Picklers of [Idol 5]."
Lythgoe has a base for his criticism of Idol considering he also serves as an executive producer and judge for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, which is currently airing its third season. Whereas Idol hits viewers over the head with video montages of its often star-struck contestants working with the weekly mentors, So You Think You Can Dance instead uses lesser known yet still recognizable choreographers to teach hopefuls as well as focuses more on each dancers' preparation and back story.
"We're all attached to them a little more," Lythgoe told reporters about So You Think You Can Dance's finalists, Entertainment Weekly reported. "I think that's affected us all a little bit more. There are little emotional hooks that come out."
With Idol producers constantly looking to "tinker with the program," Lythgoe said he'd like the show's seventh-season finalists to be a bit more attention grabbing, like So You Think You Can Dance 3's current Top 10. Even more impressive, So You Think You Can Dance 3 doesn't even feature a certain 17-year-old Federal Way, WA-native.
"There isn't a [Idol 6seventh-place finisherSanjaya Malakar on So You Think You Can Dance 3], although I do think Sanjaya helped the last season of Idol," said Lythgoe, according to Entertainment Weekly. "I think there's enough talent with enough great stories to warrant the fact that we are basing it on their talent. No one needs to alter their hair on [So You Think You Can Dance 3]."