Nigel Lythgoe Considering Voting Changes For American Idol 2012

Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol, sat down with Zap2It for an interview on SYTYCD. Along the way they asked him about Idol’s voting system. While he sounded potentially interested in correcting an obviously faulty system I’m still not convinced that will ever happen.

For next season, Lythgoe’s mulling over the voting process. “I am going to be interested in listening to one device, one vote, each week,” he says. “Voting will be discussed. It is unique to ‘Idol,’ the way we have it now.”

If it did change, “we would never be able to boast again 72 million votes in a night.”

And that last line right there is why I’ve said over and over that they’ll never change the voting system. It’s a useless, inflated metric, but they still do it anyway. They might as well be handing out Schrute Bucks for each vote.

So instead of making the voting meaningful and representative they’ll keep it as is for the momentary ego stroke of Ryan making that announcement. Yes, I think they care more about their egos than they do about the show’s legitimacy.




  1. I went to the Nashville concert and Scotty did not come out until the second half I was so disappointed.
    I just didn’t like the way he has been done. The judges were not fair with him and when they give a comment we all voted against it.

  2. we live overseas and watched Idol as did a lot of other people here and none of us will ever watch Idol again as long as the voting system is the way it is. All my family in the US are following suit.
    We’re all in agreement that Idol voting system sucks which means the program does too.
    It’s unfair to all the contestants to inflate egos that aren’t deserving.

  3. Keep the voting the same….but when it comes down to the final 5 or so, let the judges make the final decision. A bunch of teenyboppers should not decide the fate of some amazing performers.

    • One needs to keep in mind who will be buying the music — those that vote. What good is it if the judges select and the winner has no following. Bottom line, its a popularity contest based on performance. If you don’t have the following, regardless of singing ability, the contest is worthless.

      • It is the show itself that brings in the music sales, not the votes. All the voting does is give teenagers something to do with their cellphones. Exposure, talent, and a great singing voice has always won america over in the past, and I will take it to my grave that Pia Toscano is better than Scotty McCreery on ALL fronts of music talent.

  4. The way to correct the system is to let viewers vote people off ratherr than vote for who stays. They can still vote multiple times but voting off would repreent peoples choices in a much truer way.

    • Faulty logic. If we voted for who we wanted to go home, the teenyboppers would figure out who was their favorite’s biggest competition and power vote to get rid of them. The only fair way is to limit the number of votes per device, especially since there are now power voting apps.

  5. I think that with this past season American Idol got lucky because the winner is someone who can potentially sell millions of records, and they were also lucky because contestants like Lauren, Haley, James, and Pia can also potentially do well in their careers. However with the cheerleading from the judges panel, and the faulty voting system they could have easily ended up with Jacob Lusk, or Stefano Langone as the American Idol this past year.

    When they say they have “72 million votes” is not a true to how many people are voting. When Pia was voted off how do they know that Pia did not have as many people voting for her. Pia could have had more people who voted for her than say Stefano or Jacob(who were in the bottom 3 with her that week), but because those two had more people voting from them over and over again than she did, it was she who got the boot. Another example is the top 3 results when everybody thought that Lauren was going to voted off and it seemed as if we were looking at a Haley/Scotty finale, but Haley just didn’t have as many people voting for her over and over again and it didn’t mean that Haley didn’t have as many people voting for her, and so we ended up with an all country finale.

    The voting system needs to be changed to show a more better reprsentation of how many people are voting, because this system is not fair to the contestant who might have more people voting for him or her but because someone who has less people voting but still they still get the boot because that second person had people voting for them over and over again.

    It’s a simple matter of limiting the votes per device. The Voice was able to do that for when the public voted, Idol should be able to do the same.

    • We can thank the new panel of judges for the quality of talent this year. If Kara and Simon were still on board Scotty, James and Lauren would have been cut in Hollywood week.

  6. I just don’t know why we can’t have the same voting system that they have on SYTYCD. Let American vote count for the bottom three and have the judges discuss it and eliminate one…..I think for the most part the judges know quality more so than the voters…..(most of the time LOL).

    • Phyllis, you and I agree again. There could be a bottom three “sing for their lives,” and the judges would then chose the one to be eliminated.
      That would also keep the judges more involved after the final 24 are chosen. The public would still be involved, but it wouldn’t be only their decision. In the finals the public would have the “final” say. Having the bottom three “sing for their lives” could eliminate some of those boring guest spots during elimination night and would let us viewers hear more singing from the contestants.

      • GISELLE…..I wish the powers to be would read our comments. I think we have some really good ideas..LOL….
        I’m surprised at Nigel L. because that is the exact voting system that SYTYCD uses…..They “Dance for their Lives” and AI can “Sing for their Lives”….America picks the bottom three and the judges send home one of them after they sing. The finale is America votes for the winner…..

  7. The voting system: I have been saying this for such a long time. It’s crazy that you can vote over and over. There should be one vote per phone number. Period. It’s for ego- YES, but it’s totally unfair.

  8. Please change the voting system, it is not the number of votes that is interesting for th viewer but tha quality. If you continu with the same voting process, yes the companies will pay more money to advertise, BUT American Idol will loose viewers

  9. Correct me if I am wrong but is there not a charge to call in and vote? If there is and Idol makes as little as 10 cents per call that is a lot of revenue for not doing anything, so why would they want to change the voting system

    • Voting on-line is free and it takes very little time to cast a dozen votes or so. There are also apps available to vote almost automatically hundreds of times.
      Just being able to say how many million votes were cast might be wonderful for Ryan and the gang, for me, I’d rather know how many people actually wanted THAT person to stay.
      I say 1 vote per number of contestants left. Final 4=4 votes. Period.

  10. Why wouldn’t they at least consider maybe changing it to a vote out system instead of a vote to keep til the finale. Vote as many times as you like but you’re voting someone off the show as opposed to voting to keep someone safe til the finale then change the voting to voting for the winner. Just seems like you’d keep artists with more mass appeal like Pia and eliminate all the tweens voting up niche artists.

  11. I know I will not be watching Aamerican Idol next season unless I hear that voting has been changed to a system that is fair…not sure I have the answer either.
    There have been voting problems other seasons on Idol as well, but the producers will not admit to them…go to……it is illuminating to read about the problems of this AI season & past and how the producers were aware of them but would not acknowledge the technical difficulties with the phone system & how easy it is to hack into the voting website!
    No, I think I have much better things to do with my time than to be insulted by Nigel saying the viewers are a “bunch of idiots” as he called us when complaining about the voting system on AI.

    • Linda–Walking away (not watching) from this problem will not solve anything. If you enjoy watching the singers, you are punishing yourself. Even if Nigel calls us “a bunch of idiots,” he is acknowledging that he has heard our comments. Nigel has proven that he is affected by what the viewers say by apologizing from time to time for things he has done. One of the biggest problems about voting now is the mega-voting that can be done by one person. That means one person can literally determine the outcome of who is eliminated or who wins. Maybe eliminating the way that app allows people to vote is the first step. Or see #6 above for another solution. The main point is for us bloggers to stick together and keep hammering on this until the producers do something. Idol will implode if they don’t do something. Surely they know that. Only “a bunch of idiots” would not.

  12. It is the show itself that brings in the music sales, not the votes. All the voting does is give teenagers something to do with their cellphones. Exposure, talent, and a great singing voice has always won america over in the past, and I will take it to my grave that Pia Toscano is better than Scotty McCreery on ALL fronts of music talent.

    This maddness has got to stop. Change the voting Nygil, stop allowing the teenyboppers to Crown their heartthrobs King of Sing. The queen of sing last year was Pia Toscano, and it breaks my heart that she did not win. Do it for the good of us all Nygil, stop allowing mediocore signers to be crowned over power vocalists.

  13. Current Voting system is obviously at fault, making AI teeny-bopper’s choice. End of day, you want to sell records and the best way to represent this is to limit to one (phone/device)number one vote. Yet, leaving the voting right solely to the novice public is not right either. The more experienced judges should have some contributions to the vote but since they are all trying to be “nice” and not to spoil their public image, their vote should be made anonymous. My suggestion is 50% vote to the public and 50% vote to the judges.

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