American Idol producer working hard to convince us new judges don’t suck

American Idol is working overtime to convince us that its new, Simon Cowell-less judging panel isn’t going to be an unmitigated disaster. First came reports that Randy Jackson had become the new Simon Cowell, and now executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is saying that Jennifer Lopez will be the panel’s leader and that Steven Tyler is “smart.”

“Randy, of course, has changed his persona. Randy knows what he’s doing, so he’s there. Jennifer gets stronger and stronger and she’ll take over. There’s no question in my mind,” Nigel told Hollywood Life. “No question in my mind. She will take over.”

In case we forgot about the last judge, Steven Tyler, Nigel said “Steven is very smart, very quick witted. So, I really like them all. They all bring something — and they don’t all agree with each other.”

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