Idol producer says their “mistakes” included being too “engrossed with the mentors”

FOX’s president says that, despite American Idol 6‘s lower ratings (the finale was off 20 percent from the previous year), “The show is very, very strong and very much alive,” Peter Liguori said, as the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker reports.

Liguori added that “‘Idol’ reboots every year,” which, of course, suggests that it needs a reboot. The show’s executive producer certainly thinks so: Nigel Lythgoe says producers “realized we made mistakes on Idol last season,” he told TV critics, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Specifically, he says the show’s focus was off. “We were so engrossed with the mentors and didn’t really focus on the Melinda Doolittles of the show. We didn’t know them as much as the Kellie Picklers of last season,” Lythgoe says. Perhaps that’s because the Melinda Doolittles weren’t as interesting as the Kellie Picklers of last season?

As a result, producers will “tinker with the program,” although he didn’t offer specifics. But Lythgoe did say that he wants Idol‘s cast to actually have talent–like the contestants on his other show, So You Think You Can Dance, do. He says, “There isn’t a Sanjaya here, although I do think Sanjaya helped the last season of Idol. I think there’s enough talent with enough great stories to warrant the fact that we are basing it on their talent. No one needs to alter their hair on this program.”

Is Fox worried about “American Idol”? And what of Sanjaya? [Orlando Sentinel]
‘Idol’ Producer: ‘We Made Mistakes’ [Entertainment Weekly]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.