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Nigel Lythgoe makes an 'American Idol' prediction

May 24, 2011 | 12:34 pm

Nigel Nigel Lythgoe was supposed to talk about this week's season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance," but instead "American Idol" came up early and often.

The executive producer of both Fox reality competition shows didn't have to wait long Tuesday morning during a media conference call to be asked which of the two teens from down South -– Scotty McCreery of North Carolina or Lauren Alaina of Georgia -- would win "Idol."

He said emphatically it would be "the one with the most votes."

Lythgoe, who returned to "Idol" this season after leaving for a couple of years, was less diplomatic about some of the changes made to America’s most popular television series during his absence. The show became more about the judges than the contestants, said Lythgoe, who kept Randy Jackson and brought in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to this season's panel. (Sorry, Season 9 judges Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.)

"I thought 'These are mistakes being made in front of my very eyes,'" he said.

As for "SYTYCD," Lythgoe said there won't be any drastic changes this season, which begins Thursday. Mary Murphy, who is recovering from thyroid cancer, is returning this season, and, according to Lythgoe, she may be a bit more subdued: "Only as loud as a small hair dryer."


Scotty McCreery versus Lauren Alaina: Who will win?

And the 'American Idol' finalists are...Scotty and Lauren

Full Show Tracker coverage of 'American Idol'

-- Lena Skalaban

Photo Nigel Lythgoe: Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times