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American Idol Season 12: Nigel Lythgoe Compares Idol Success to Competition

6 years ago by Reg Seeton

American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe prepares for Season 12 on Fox January 16 – Photo: FOX

American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe recently shared his thoughts on the success of Idol talent ahead of the January 16 premiere of Season 12.

When it comes to producing stars, there’s no denying that American Idol is still on top of the charts when it comes to reality singing competitions. Although American Idol has faced stiff competition in recent years from The Voice and The X Factor, Idol has sent a slew of singers to the top of the Billboard charts.

“In fairness, I suppose it’s right to say that they really haven’t been on the air that long yet against American Idol,” Lythgoe told The Deadbolt on a call with reporters this past Thursday, January 9. “I do think that other shows tend to concentrate a little more on maybe gimmicks, maybe their judges a little too much. And I say that as I just experienced two months talking about our new judges.”

And Nigel Lythgoe has a point when it comes to his own judges. The highly publicized feud between new American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey has dominated headline coverage for the upcoming season ever since the video leak back in September.

“But hopefully the programs themselves when you see them,” added Lythgoe, “will show that we’re still focusing on the contestants.”

Last year’s winner, Phillip Phillips, debuted his single “Home” at #4 on the Billboard 200 with 2.5 million copies sold behind superstars Rihanna, Taylor Swift and One Direction. Not too bad for a show heading into its 12th season. In just six weeks, Phillips has sold more than 533000 copies of his debut album “The World From the Side of the Moon.”

Although The Voice has given Idol a new run for its money on iTunes and beyond with Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, and recent winner Cassadee Pope, who broke digital records with her version of Miranda Lambert’s “Over You”, American Idol has several mega stars under its musical belt.

This season on American Idol fans will see the girls and guys split into separate groups in Hollywood Week, with the female singers getting their own week and the males another. The change in format will continue through to Las Vegas Week until the Top 10.

After that, American Idol will return to the Top 10 format but without wild cards. Interestingly, Lythgoe also revealed that American Idol will copy The X Factor and use the ranking system of the votes.

But when it comes to discovering true talent, American Idol has consistently produced successful stars and singers who have gone on to have major hits on the charts.

Phillip Phillips performs on Season 11 of American Idol – Photo: FOX

From Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, and Adam Lambert to Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreery and last year’s winner, Phillip Phillips, Idol has a proven track record of success. Other successful Idol singers include David Cook, David Archuleta, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and Kimberly Locke.

So, how does Nigel Lythgoe feel about other factors at play that help separate Idol from the pack when producing successful stars?

“The amount of votes that people vote and get involved with,” continued Lythgoe to The Deadbolt, “they want to see them successful after the show as well once you’ve invested in somebody. Plus you have to say that Phillip Phillips’ song “Home” was just tremendous. So he was very lucky having a great song to come out with. Scotty McCreery, again, very good in that genre and people loved him. So we’ve had success and we want to continue having success.”

American Idol returns to Fox for Season 12 on Wednesday, January 16.

How do you feel about the talent American Idol produces as compared to other shows on the air?

What do you think?

Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!
  • DanTan

    Can’t argue there! Phillips Phillips is amazing. Funny… The Voice is great but needs a huge star! The X Factor has good talent but is doing the worst job of all the shows.