FOX vetoes Idol contestants if the network “believes [they] will damage the show”

American Idol’s executive producer said today that the network essentially vetoes contestants without explanation. He also detailed his proposal for a songwriting competition in a call with reporters, but said that plan has not yet been approved by FOX.

“We are informed at the end of the day [by Fox] that you can’t invite this person or persons, and we don’t ask why. To be frank, we’re not interested. If Fox believes it will damage the show … then it’s best they just don’t come along,” Nigel Lythgoe said, as Newsday reported.

He was referring to Akron Watson, who was disinvited before the Hollywood round. Apparently, anyone the judges send to Hollywood can be removed from the competition, and the producers don’t care about the effect of that on the show’s integrity. Sorry, I just forgot what show and network we’re talking about here.

Lythgoe also told reporters about his proposal for the songwriting competition. “My idea is [for viewers] to give me 10 songs and then I’ll bring back 10 ‘Idol’ finalists to sing them on a special. I’ve pitched to Fox and they have yet to come back to me to say yes or no,” he said.

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