This season of “American Idol” was a ratings and critical success but how did the man behind it all judge it?
“I am extremely happy with the success we had this season,” Niles Lythgoe, executive producer, tells Zap2it. “It was a season of transition, a season where we lost our two No. 1 stars. I am thrilled, delighted.”
Not one to sugarcoat his opinion, Lythgoe reflects on the problems of the previous season.
“It got quite dark the year before with Ryan [Seacrest] and Simon [Cowell],” Lythgoe says. “I wanted to make sure Ryan found light.”
He remains impressed with Seacrest, and wonders, “why that boy hasn’t gotten an Emmy” adding that the host’s comments are not scripted.
“I always said it’s about the talent,” he says. “This year it was the talent. The judges would have a kid come in and sing,” then guide that contestant toward a more suitable song.
Contestants were “given the opportunity to grow in the audition room,” Lythgoe says. “That has not happened before.”
Lythgoe appreciates that one judge could sway the other two. If Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson or Steven Tyler believed in a singer and the others did not quite see the potential, they were open to persuasion.
“Randy would go, ‘no,’ and Jennifer would go ‘no’ and Steven would says, ‘I think he is that what it is-ness.’ And then they would say, ‘OK, we’ll put you through.'”
“Those little things were magnified in Hollywood,” Lythgoe says. “Taking out the middle rounds gave people a chance to grow, showing the public who they were. We never really had that before.”