'American Idol:' Nigel Lythgoe on James Durbin's Elimination, Rumors of Fixing Final 3

by Hilary Rothing, posted May 17th 2011 4:30PM
Nigel Lythgoe is a very busy man, producing and appearing in some of America's most highly rated television shows, but he still finds time to not only Tweet but pay close attention to what his followers are saying.

And after last week's elimination of James Durbin on 'American Idol,' it seems the 140 character conspiracy theories on Lythgoe's involvement in shaping the Top 3 have flooded the mega-producers Twitter feed.

Lythgoe had some interesting comments on the matter for the NY Post's PopWrap, when asked about wrapping up 'Idol's' tenth season.

"I'm sorry to have lost James. He was one of my personal favorites. Any one of this Top 10 could have worked well in the Top 2. This season has been remarkable with talent. I would have loved to have seen Casey in there, Pia in there. And I keep reading these tweets saying I manipulated the show to lose James. You silly buggers. Why on earth would I want to lose James?!?!"

Well, apparently America was cool with losing the California rocker. But what about Haley Reinhart? When pressed about her the judges' heavy handedness with the Chicago jazz singer, Nigel pointed out that they've already seen both her performances in rehearsal when constructing their criticism.

"I just don't get it. Unless I'm really Machiavellian and I'm doing it from this reverse psychological method, which I don't even know about because it's my alter ego doing it. Haley has been one of the few that the judges have had harsh words for – but don't forget that the judges know that her second song will be fantastic because they've watched the dress rehearsal.

"So I think maybe they know they can be tough on the first song because the second one is a wow moment. There's something about that comeback she's done the last two weeks that generates incredible votes."

Which brings up the question of 'Idol's,' format, which has become somewhat tired. Even Lythgoe suggested a change to the "judges' save" component is in order.

"The fact is we're much more, if you like, manipulative on 'SYTYCD' than on 'Idol,' because on 'Dance' you give us the bottom three and we make the decision who goes home. Which is a format change I'd like to see on 'Idol' to be quite frank with you."

Though Lythgoe added that he was "thankful" for it, this year, in a case like Pia Toscano's 'Idol' wouldn't need "the silly judges save" if it functioned like 'SYTYCD.'

The question remains if Lythgoe will restructure 'Idol' for next season. With 'The Voice' gaining momentum and 'X Factor' on the horizon, it may just be time for 'Idol' to reinvent itself.

What are your thoughts on the judges' save and the Season 10 Top 3? Sound off in the comments below!

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on FOX.

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risgrdnr

Clearly the format of deciding needs to change. It is really a popularity contest with kids voting hundreds of times and whole towns having churches vote, etc. Fair voting really would be one vote per viewer. The winner is not usually the most talented (witness the last 3 or 4 seasons). The judges should have way more say, and (in theory) it IS about talent and ability to perform on a grand scale.

May 26 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
risgrdnr

Clearly the format of deciding needs to change. It is really a popularity contest with kids voting hundreds of times and whole towns having churches vote, etc. Fair voting really would be one vote per viewer. The winner is not usually the most talented (witness the last 3 or 4 seasons). The judges should have way more say, and (in theory) it IS about talent and ability to perform on a grand scale.

May 26 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet Foret Lococo

I believe the judges votes should count for a certain percentage of the vote like they do on Dancing With The Stars. I wish there was some way to allow people to vote ONLY ONCE via telephone and internet.

May 24 2011 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bev Hatley

NIGEL IS A SNAKE !!! WHEN PEOPLE ARE TELLING HIM THEY VOTED FOR 01 BUT 03 COMES UP. THE LINES ARE TELLING US NOT A WORKING NUMBER , NEVER GETTING THROUGH TO JAMES'S LINE and a lot more. Why doesn't he explain that !!! and he calls us morons, if he didn't have us , there would be no American Idol. I guess he forgets we help pay his bills. You can be ugly for just so long and it will EVENTUALLY catch up with you !

May 20 2011 at 5:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
TONY DETORE

Nigel is 1000% correct. Idol scoring sucks along with unqualified Musical "CELEBRITY" judges,that virtua
no training in this specific area.

May 20 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
msmnmgreen

Lauren Alaina is NOT cool-looking. Even though she is not fat, she always looks frumpish. She can never look like Haley Rhinehart who is a stunning presence both in the way she moves and in the way she looks. Haley can sing different types of songs and each one sounds different as is her performance - a true professional. Lauren always looks the same and sounds the same no matter what she sings. Lauren is singing " the same song" over and over even though they are different songs. Haley is a true performer as are James and Casey. There is a difference between singing and performing. When you can do BOTH, THEN YOU ARE A STAR! When Casey and Haley sang and performed competively (can't remember the name of the song) they were way over being professional. Lauren couldn't do that! What kind of a competition is this? The voting should be restricted to a person's name which would be proof that he/she was not using different phones, voting more than once, and it should be in a certain age limitation. This should not be a popularity contest or a venue for teenagers to have something to do in their idle time. This VOTING should be held professionally. These performers are striving for their careers, their dreams, their LIVELIHOOD! American Idle, don't you get it? Get REAL! I am appalled!

May 20 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Oh yes 2nd comment. Get rid of J Lo she says the same thing over and over
plus she interrupts other people when they are talking. Randy should be voted off the panel period.
he wouldn't know talent if it fell all over him. DOG! time for change!!! I won't even watch this last episode
Everyone knows that Scottys going to win..

May 20 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Personally I think the whole thing is rigged! Yes they eliminate some of the best performers to
rile up the people to vote! It is also a popularity contest (obviously) more teenies and pre-teenies
have cell phones. It's all about ratings, not who has the most talent. I Like Scottys voice,But Loren couldn't
hold a candle to Hayley in a real competition based on talent!
Who will win, Betcha Scotty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 20 2011 at 10:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rusglor

I love the judges, they are great. Best season ever. I don't think the fans should get complete voting power, there are too many 10 -13 year voting hundreds of times for their favorite teeny bopper. It isn't a true "who is the best" contest. I am 60, have watched every episode of the ten seasons and I would like to see the judges have more power at the end of the season with voting.

May 18 2011 at 9:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Pete

hey people im sorry to say but the performances by haley past too weeks generated a very high number of votes Nigel said. But the funny thing as well the judges know how strong haley is so all this bashing haley is part of the program to keep it interesting and the drama Pretty much its not a fair game anymore the classic haley way!! I love that

May 18 2011 at 9:28 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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