Nigel Lythgoe
Lashes Out

AI executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is fed up with conspiracy theorists who claim the American Idol vote is rigged. After years of trying to prove his television shows are run fairly, Nigel admits the 'megalomaniac' fans are driving him crazy!

Most of the American Idol vote heckling Nigel Lythgoe receives on a daily basis happens on Twitter with fans frustrated their favorites have gotten the boot. With the final three performing Wednesday night, the American Idol voting stakes are higher than ever.

"The ones that believe we manipulate everything, it drives me crazy sometimes," Nigel said when he sat down with MTV on Monday. "'How dare you let James go from Idol!' 'We know that you hate Haley!' This is just crazy. I always end up having to go, 'You morons out there... ' or something like that, and realize that I'm arguing with seven or eight-year-olds from Wisconsin."

"It's annoying, because Idol of all shows, really goes with what the public demands, whether we like it or not," he insisted. "And of course we didn't like to see Casey going. We didn't like to see Pia going. We didn't like to see James going. But someone has to go, by the very nature of it being a competition."

Nigel Lythgoe went on to explain (at length) that some things are intentionally coordinated on American Idol, such as the performance order. "James [Durbin] opened the week before," he said. "He opened it again [last] week, which is not the great spot to be in, and then we changed him to the last [for the second song], so it was fairer. So when Standards and Practices said to us, 'Why is he opening twice?' Well he's opening twice because there are four songs in that first genre, he's the uptempo one. You don't want to open the show with a ballad, so you start with an uptempo song. And he's last because he's due to be last, because he's opened the show for two weeks now."

"That was all it was," Nigel concluded. "God forbid logic comes into a megalomaniac fan that just wants their number one to win and everything else is: The world's against them!"

Do you believe the American Idol vote is rigged?


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Comments on "Hey 'moron,' the American Idol vote isn't rigged"

harry May 21, 2011 | 2:13 AM

although not living in the US I was surprised to find out you can vote more then once.95 million votes from a US population of 300 million? 1 out of 3 people voted!! amazing stats

Ira Dunn May 21, 2011 | 12:23 AM

The number of people voting for a contestant should be the criteria, NOT the number of votes. To overly exaggerate the point, James Durbin could have had 999 people vote 1 time each for him, & Haley could have had 1 person vote 1000 times for her, & Haley would win. Yes, that's fair! Completely inane & why a lot of people consider IDOL a joke.

oeggtt May 20, 2011 | 1:18 PM

Don't care who gets the top or 2nd....the worst is in the bottom3......

Larry May 20, 2011 | 9:38 AM

I am not one of the "conspiracy theorist's", and I like Country Music, but it's hard to believe that the votes are not fixed. If the competition was for southern voters only, maybe I would buy into a country music final two, but for the nationwide vote going Lauren and Scotty? That's just unbelievable and sure raises my suspicion. I won't watch Idol again and hope that XFactor is legitimate.

Jacob May 20, 2011 | 6:41 AM

This is the first year I have ever watched the grand Karaoke competition and it will probably be the last. The judges suck without Simon; none of them give harsh criticism that is needed. Plus the demographic for this program has to be made up of teenagers and suburban families. I say this because all the raw talent has been voted off, where as all the family friendly "boring" are left. Its very Top 40, safe, generic and boring Scotty/Lauren is the same artist in different packages. So I do not think the show is rigged, but I think the fans are 'morons' with bad taste in music.

Leon May 20, 2011 | 5:57 AM

If you don't see a football, baseball, basketball, hockey puck, fighters or drivers, IT IS NOT COMPETITION TV! It is entertainment tv and therefor staged on a stage!

The Edge The Edge The Edge May 20, 2011 | 2:38 AM

It's probably not rigged but tell the judges not to favorite someone with "You're in it to win it!" and blah, that's probably what killed James and Haley, if I wasn't a fan of someone then hearing that wouldn't really help. Also tell Lauren to stop being so fragile (but hey, she's probably forced by her parents to go into this whole thing :/)

NEBADON May 20, 2011 | 1:26 AM

I believe that someday Nigel will be required to appear before his Creator. I can imagine God being the first to speak as He asks: "So am I also a moron in your eyes? I'm all-knowing and all-powerful and even I called the wrong number for James Durbin that night!"

URANTIAN May 19, 2011 | 10:45 PM

The lingering evidence of foul play speaks volumes. My conclusive assertion (and I'm not the only one who believes this) is that James Durbin was unfairly cheated out of a chance at being one of the top three finalists due to the uncharacteristic way AI re-arranged the order of the singers last week between rounds and then simply expected viewers to be consciously aware of this sudden and radical departure from the ordinary way that they have always done things in the past (specifically using/displaying the phone numbers corresponding to the positional placement of contestants in the first round but then mixing up that order in the second round to add their own brand of instant chaos to the mix). So anyone who wasn't paying close attention to Ryan last week when he referenced this discrepancy (or may have tuned in too late to have even seen earlier parts of the show where that was covered) might have seen James performing the last song of the night and (incorrectly) assumed that the number to call to vote for him is the one ending in "04". This is perfectly understandable because that is how they have always done it ever since the show first aired and so it seems reasonable to conclude they would not have any legitimate reason to change things at this stage of the game...unless they are either moronically stupid (intellectually challenged sounds nicer if not more polite than Nigel's uncouth venom) and/or this was intentionally designed to perpetrate fraud on a grand scale using a diabolically devious mechanism of deception, a cold-heartedly cruel and maliciously malevolent (Nigel would just call it "clever") audience manipulation technique purposefully planned to drastically modify the results from called-in votes last week (unfairly diverting votes for James to another contestant = Lauren Alaina). So was that my voodoo doll that made Hailey trip on the stairs this week because I heard she (figuratively) slapped James in his tear-stained face last week with a snickering smorgasbord of self-indulgent laughter after he was sent packing? No. I quit playing with dolls when I turned 15. But it might have been a small puddle of drool from Steven Tyler that had sumtin' to do with it. Just sayin'. Bottom line = Better to laugh than to cry over spilled milk or the divisive debate over whether the show is legit or rigged (or a combination of both). God knows the Truth (but I heard He stopped watching when Jacob Lusk was dropped).

Darin C. May 19, 2011 | 10:09 PM

Rigged or not the process is flawed. I gave up on Idol a few years back but was drawn to this year because my family is hooked so I partook in the game. NEVER AGAIN!!! Pia going home was a disgrace. My heart broke tonight as I watched Haley get voted off. American Idol??? Naw just watch America's tweens as Pia and Hayley sell more records and concert tickets that Scotty and Lauren..bined! We've seen it before... Rubin who??? The system needs to be tweeked unless the sponsors really want to exclude us 45+ agers for the tweens... hummm..... Ford...I wonder who your market or the tweens??? By the way, I will buy tickets to see Pia and Haley...maybe even Scotty but Lauren can't hold a candle. I am in the market for a new car...I'm just sayin....

Randall May 19, 2011 | 9:07 PM

It's not rigged, just easily fooled. If you listened carefully, you would have heard Lauren's brother say, "I've been texting for hours." That's what's happening, kids are spending hours voting. It's going to be a shame for Scotty to win as he has the least talent of the bunch. His voice is weak and his harmonies, well, they were awful. The day Pia was cut, was the day it went south. People are outraged. Everyone I know that is an Idol fan won't watch again. Steven Tyler isn't very good at keeping stone faced when good people are cut, he knows there's something up.

marty May 19, 2011 | 7:25 PM

of course is rigged. Too much money involved, too much to prove after Simon left. Look at this year. They cant take risks , they need a sure money maker. Scotty. They knew James could beat him. They got rid of him first. Then they knew Haley could beat him (look at the you tube views for her last month) so they got rid of her too. That leaves Lauren who wont beat Scotty but who will also sell records because country people are loyal fans. Haley and James were too risky and could be another AI flop. I do think Haley will score a record deal and she will be a mega star. She is that talented. James may too, although his is a bit off . But they were both still a risk. Scotty is safe and wll likely beat Lauren easily. She hardly gets any views in you tube compared to Scotty or Haley.

LB May 19, 2011 | 6:39 PM

I agree with Janie, all season long they've been telling Haley how much she is like Janice Joplin, then they give her an Alanis Morrisette song??? Also in the past they always encourage contests to get out of their comfort zone and take chances, then this season they praise Scotty and Lauren for sticking with what they know, and then slam Haley and James for taking risks!! Bottom line we'll see who sells more records... does Chris Daughtry ring a bell??

K Thomas May 19, 2011 | 6:22 PM

Apparently, if we don't agree with this pompous ass, we are morons. It's the "8-year-olds from Wisconsin" that indirectly fund his lavish lifestyle he's been able to enjoy here in the States. Nigel, we have a saying her in America -- "Don't bit the millions of hands that feed you!"

Proof May 19, 2011 | 4:08 PM

Ryan always urges the voters to be careful when voting. It's up to the voters to keep track of their Idol's numbers. If the voters can't do that,then they're to blame. It's not that difficult. Keep your eyes on the prize. The manipulation theories are unfounded. But then again, most theories are based on....well.. theories. If it doesn't go your way,then it's a theory. If it goes your way,then it's truth! James isn't coming back. He'll have a career,no doubt...talented guy. However,did it ever occur to anyone that he didn't get the votes he needed to stay in the competition? Oh must be a conspiracy. Theories need to be proven. Prove it!!

janie May 19, 2011 | 11:26 AM

It is not rigged but definitely manipulated to who they want. Like for instance Haley's worst song last night was last so that the public would remember her weak performance not her great earlier performance. Or the judges sabotage a contestant like they tried to do with Haley giving her a bad song for Idols. They tell her she is a blues singer and then give her a song out of her genre, yet give Scotty and Lauren country songs that they know they will be able to do. Manipulated most definitely. watched every season of Idols and I know every trick they pull.

Chelsea May 19, 2011 | 10:17 AM

James got booted because they switched the order. All the little kids who didn't realize that james wasn't "idols 04" voted, and lauren got their votes. thats why she was told first she was in the top 3. she got the most votes simply because james' fans weren't paying attention.

john,e May 19, 2011 | 9:48 AM

hey head it is rigged and your the moron.

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