Lythgoe: 'American Idol' lost focus, shouldn't replace Simon Cowell
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/14/2010
Nigel Lythgoe has reiterated his belief that three is the magic number when it comes to judging panels -- especially onAmerican Idol.
"It's never been my opinion that four judges work on that program because it should be about the talent," Lythgoe -- who served as an American Idol executive producer for the show's first seven seasons -- told The Canadian Press in a Sunday report.
"The [American Idol] team took their eye off the ball a little bit and was more worried about the judges and what was happening with them than it was regarding the talent last year. It became about [Kara DioGuardi] joining and making the fourth judge, [Paula Abdul] leaving, [Ellen DeGeneres] joining and [Simon Cowell] leaving and much more about them and concentrating on that than on the talent that they were finding."
Lythgoe added that he was not a big fan ofAmerican Idol's ninth season, which recently concluded with Lee Dewyze taking home the title.
"It wasn't a vintage year," he told The Canadian Press.
CBS' The Amazing Race has won every Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program since the category was first created in 2002, and Lythgoe said he doesn't think American Idol should even be considered for the award because it's technically a variety show.
"I don't honestly see how American Idol, with all of that intricacy of what that production involves -- from going out to the football stadiums to finishing in the Nokia Theater with KISS exploding out of the woodwork and Prince walking on and all of that -- can be compared with a bunch of people running around the world that wins every year," he explained to The Canadian Press.
Lythgoe is currently focused on So You Think You Can Dance, the seventh season of which recently premiered on Fox.
While he's already launched several international versions of the reality series, Lythgoe said there's one more boundary he'd like to break.
"I'd love to do the first 3D dance on So You Think You Can Dance this season," he told The Canadian Press before joking, "I think the five people who have got 3D TV would enjoy it."