Emmys 2012: Nigel Lythgoe Talks About The ‘Best First Day Ever’ with New ‘American Idol’ Judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban (VIDEO)
American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has a lot to celebrate with an Emmy nomination for So You Think You Can Dance and three new A-list AI judges taking their seats – and all in one week.
“This was possibly the best first day I’ve ever had with any judges anywhere in the world,” Lythgoe gushed. “It was absolutely tremendous…with Keith who’s done The Voice in Australia, Mariah and Nicki who have watched American Idol for so many years they just know exactly what’s expected of them, they’re articulate, witty, they’ve got banter, it’s a good collision of creative girls.”
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And despite Carey dismissing rumors of on-set drama with Minaj, the country crooner is stuck in the reality show middle, so to speak, Lythgoe joked.
“Keith is watching a tennis match because he’s in the middle of these two girls, but it’s exciting," he said.
This season fans may see some changes, he added, but fundamentally the successful show will remain the same.
"We’ve got tweaks, but at the end of the day the format is get some talent, put it it front of judges and have America vote," Lythgoe said. "As long as you get the right chemistry with the judges... and the right talent."
Although SYTYCD lost tonight’s golden statue on TV’s biggest night, Lythgoe hopes American Idol -- which has been a regular contender in the outstanding reality competition category before -- will get recognized again, despite its absence from the nominees list this year.
“We’ve never had a opportunity of winning an Emmy… we do the Grammys on our finale in three days…it goes through so many changes, it deserves recognition for that,” he said.
So what does he think of the numerous singing competition shows hitting the small screen -- The Voice, American Idol and The X Factor -- all taking over at the same time?
“I’ve never been frightened of competition, I think that spurs everybody on and that’s a good thing,” he said. “But for the viewers it’s sad we’re on at the same time, with The Voice and X Factor on the same week it’s tough for us viewers to spend that long watching shows.”
But too much is never enough.
“There’s never too much singing for me and there certainly isn’t enough dancing on TV," he admitted.