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Nigel Lythgoe Says American Idol Girls Need ‘Charisma’ and ‘Personality’

5 years ago by Reg Seeton
New American Idol judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban join Randy Jackson for the Season 12 premiere - Photo: FOX

New American Idol judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban join Randy Jackson for the Season 12 premiere – Photo: FOX

American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe recently revealed that the female singers in Season 12 need charisma and personality to make it far in this year’s competition.

Ahead of Season 12 of American Idol, which premieres Thursday, January 16 on Fox with new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban joining Randy Jackson, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe spoke with reporters on a recent call about what the female singers need to do to make it through to the live rounds.

“It isn’t always about the voice,” said Lythgoe, “it is about charisma, it is about personality, it is about attracting an audience and doing that week on week.”

As Idol fans know, a female hasn’t won American Idol since Jordin Sparks in Season 6. Since Sparks took home the top honor in 2007, American Idol has produced male winners in David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, and last year’s top vote getter Phillip Phillips.

Although it’s much the same formula for the guys each week on American idol, the female singers are definitely the underdogs going into the new season.

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

But when it comes to pure talent, Lythgoe admitted that the girls have the early edge.

“All we’re saying this year is there is more strength in the talent of the girls,” added Nigel to reporters. “That is not to say that one of the boys will not sneak in because there are – I would say just off the top of my head – five or six really good guys and only five of them are going to make the Top 10.”

But like Nigel stated, success isn’t always about vocal talent alone. It’s also about relating to the audience in other ways through story and character.

For those who do make it into the Top 10, however, it’s a wide open numbers game of possibilities.

“At the end of the day,” continued Lythgoe, “when you’ve got five guys and five girls, the strength of talent, the depth of talent doesn’t matter. You’re still only dealing with five males and five females. It’s anybody’s game at that stage.”

Season 12 of American Idol premieres Wednesday, January 16 and Thursday, January 17 at 8/7c.

What do you think a female singer needs to do to beat the guys win American Idol?

What do you think?

Reg Seeton

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!