Nigel Lythgoe addresses 'American Idol' rumors on the Emmys red carpet
"American Idol" Nigel Lythgoe attended the Emmys on Sunday in Los Angeles and (sort of) addressed the lingering questions about next season's judges panel.
"We're going to wait and see who says yes because at the end of the day it's going to be the chemistry between the judges that count."
Lythgoe said no judges had been officially announced because "we're in this state of seeing if people are available because we're asking them to open up four months of their schedule."
Lythgoe, who left the Fox talent competition in 2008, has returned as its executive producer. He said he didn't think judges needed a performance background.
"If you ever saw Simon Cowell barking as a dog, you'll know that a performer's background is not necessary to be a judge on this show," Lythgoe said. "It's somebody who can recognize talent, basically. ... It's the common sense that counts."
When asked which judges already had signed contracts, Lythgoe said: "As far as I know, and I could be wrong about this, Randy Jackson."
But sources who were familiar with the negotiations told The Times earlier this month that Steven Tyler has indeed signed on the dotted line. Fox has not officially confirmed that.
-- Maria Elena Fernandez
Video: Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times