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08/03/2010

Broadcast TV

Lythgoe 'American Idol' change agent?

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Aug 3 2010

Nigel Viewers of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, and anyone in the live studio audience who wasn't sleeping, got a little peek into Nigel Lythgoe's psyche last week as he complimented a couple of dancers by saying it was one of the best performances ever, "here on American Idol." Freudian slip! It's been widely rumored that Lythgoe will be brought back to jump start Fox's still powerful but ailing Idol. So obviously it's on his mind. Who can blame him for a moment of confusion whilst doling out praise on another Fox reality competition show? Lythgoe, who's executive producer and judge on the network's hit So You Think You Can Dance, is expected to be the change agent on Idol, where he spent six seasons as a producer. There's already much afoot -- Simon Cowell ran his last lap in May, and speculation's been rampant ever since about who will replace the acerbic Brit. The latest, but by no means the final word: it'll be J-Lo, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson on a three-person panel. Ellen DeGeneres has bowed out, Kara DioGuardi got booted, and Elton John just doesn’t have the time (that last one's still to be determined). Lythgoe, for his part, seemed to still be focused on the fleet-footed SYTYCD contestants, even if he did name the wrong show. (Finalist Lauren quickly followed with a crack about her singing, and host Cat Deeley threw in a Ryan Seacrest reference. Go girls!) Can he juggle both? Maybe he'll just need a few cue cards.

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  • Katy Bachman
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