Idol 5 contestants “have more attitude”; Kelly Clarkson won’t let her songs be used

American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe talked to the press yesterday, and said that, the contestants “have more attitude this season.” Specifically, some contestants quit on-stage, and others are “willing to shit on other people.” (He means that metaphorically, of course, lest FOX get all scatological on us for the fifth season; hysterically, the LA Times’ account changes the s-word to “dump” in brackets.)

During the call, Lythgoe said that first-season winner Kelly Clarkson, who has detached herself from the series entirely, “isn’t clearing some of her music for American Idol.” He called this “very strange.”

He also took credit for the “exceptionally mean” way the show tells contestants they’re safe or not safe. “It’s one of the meanest things we did, and I put my hand up. I’m to blame for it. … It would be very boring if we just say you’re in, you’re in,” he said. “I’m not making anybody eat bugs or stand on their head in the middle of the jungle. It’s only mean in a good-hearted way.”

Oh yes, that good-hearted, crush-someone’s-dreams way, you heartless ratings-whoring bastard.

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