As executive producer of American Idol, Nigel Lythgoe has to balance the job of creating a compelling TV show with the work of discovering the nation’s next big music sensation — tasks that sometimes take him down competing paths. Lythgoe sat down for an Idoloonies interview (prior to Top 3 performance night and Haley Reinhart’s elimination) and shared his thoughts on how the eventual third-place finisher was treated by the judges after her performance of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” what changes he and his team are considering with regard to theme nights and voting rules, and why Season 10 results-night telecasts have been more compelling than in years past. Other topics on the table included Steven Tyler’s performance as an Idol judge, the oft-discussed but never realized contestant songwriting night, and the idea of taking viewers even further behind the Idol curtain.
Lythgoe also talked about the upcoming eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance, including his wish list of folks who might occupy the third judge’s chair this season (think everyone from will.i.am to Shirley MacLaine), the popular former contestant who could have a role in the coming months, and his perpetual fear of alienating the show’s core audience.
Press play below for all that and much more, and for all my Idol and SYTYCD recaps, news, and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.