Nigel Lythgoe on American Idol Firing: ‘Of course I’ve got hard feelings’


Nigel Lythgoe

To say ousted American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has mixed feelings over his recent firing would be an understatement. He knows the firing wasn’t personal but also harbors hard feelings. As he and anyone else fired from a job should.


“Of course I’ve got hard feelings. I’m pissed off,” Nigel said with a laugh on the red carpet at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards on Monday night in Los Angeles. “But, in truth, you say at the end of the day that this has been a fantastic journey and it really has [been] for me, personally.”

Nigel also added that he thinks he knows what went wrong with the show in recent seasons.

“I believe the issue is that we lost our way, that we went for a young audience when really, we’re a family show,” he said. “When we came over here, I said, ‘We are going for targeting this middle age group that will bring the kids in and the grandparents. And families I think, nowadays, feel very guilty they aren’t together enough so if you have a program that attracts an entire family, you get what you want, which is that younger age group anyway.”

Nigel also took the time to remind us that he has had nothing to do with recent judging choices. That was all up to Fox.


“My feeling with judges is I only ever chose three judges and [they were] Randy [Jackson], Paula [Abdul] and Simon [Cowell]. But my feeling with that is you do have to screen test them. Just because you’re a great singer does not make you a great judge,” he said.

No word on what Nigel thinks of the new producer, Per Blankens, who will be replacing him.





  1. Hum wait. That quote is amazing ”Just because you’re a great singer does not make you a great judge”. Is he talking about Mariah Carey? Nicki Minaj? Steven Tyler? Hahaha.

  2. Where does it say ” Just because you’re a great singer does not make you a great judge?.” I would be a bit P##ed off too if I were Nigel. But sometimes new blood helps too. So sorry Nigel. We do love ” So you think you can dance”. Thats a good thing. I like you too Nigel.

  3. I have to agree with Nigel…..three judges is enough. Four judges becoming very confusing for these idol contestants.

  4. i agree with what Nigel has said, the old show was more classy did not have judges going at each other other then paula being little high now and then but overall she was okay.. Other then Keith Urban the rest were no good ….. Jackson was getting stale over the years … Where he was more precise earlier on with simon … I think these days they go over board to please the young ones it is a show that really over 40 is the ones who enjoy music /singers etc., and they vote at what they like not how good looking they are which is happening … How many singers have been bumped off because they don’t look good for the youngs ones (great singers) i really don’t think it has done well since Simon Cowel’s departure and new person coming in i don’t think it will work i think it may be the end of the show altogether… Shame it is hey day it was great show to watch..

  5. Yes, I believe Nigel is right in his thinking that the show lost its appeal as a family viewing show, and its a feather in his cap that he had no part in creating a panel of four, (too many opinions) and people want to relax, not get stressed out by the tension on the panel, and comments made by Minaj, who is not someone a parent would feel comfortable watching with their young teens!

  6. I think people on this board have continually beaten home the fact that this is a family show for quite some time now. If more attention had been paid maybe he’d still have a job with AI.

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