Nigel Lythgoe claims if he was still serving as an American Idol executive producer than fans of the Fox reality series would see sweeping changes next season.

"I'd lose the fourth judge, I don't like four judges. I'd keep Ryan Seacrest and probably change the whole panel to go with [Elton John]," Lythgoe told The New York Post in a recent interview.

"The one thing everyone forgets is that Idol is an onion, it has many layers, but it's about the talent. I think we'd forgotten that a bit -- thank goodness for Adam Lambert because he was an outstanding talent that people could talk about."

Lythgoe -- who served as an American Idol executive producer for the show's first seven seasons -- had previously stated his desire for John to replace Simon Cowell, who will end his American Idol judging role  after its currently airing ninth season to launch his British The X Factor reality competition series for Fox in Fall 2011.

"If I were doing it, I'd get Elton John! He is fabulous," Lythgoe told The Post.

"I've done a number of shows with him and Elton is amazing. Even when the cameras aren't rolling. He's quick-witted, honest and obviously he has an incredible pedigree of music. He's the ideal and I think he'd actually be better than Simon."

John's representative has previously stated that he's "not going to be a judge."

In addition, Lythgoe said recent reports that ABC was wooing former American Idol judge Paula Abdul to serve as host and judge of its Star Search revival -- advances that she apparently rejected -- are just another example of how topsy-turvey things have gotten.

"It's a strange world out there -- they're booking comedians as singing judges, Simon's getting married and Paula might do Star Search!" he told The Post.

"And why would he get engaged? Simon doesn't need to get engaged unless it's for publicity! Why wouldn't he just get married?"

Cowell recently got engaged to American Idol makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy.