American Idol Producer: Pia Toscano "Never the Frontrunner"

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The American Idol judges were shocked that Pia Toscano was ousted on last week's results show, and some fans are petitioning to bring her back.

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, however, is not up in arms.

“I know the [voting] results, so I know she was never a frontrunner,” Lythgoe said. “The fact of the matter, it appears, is that Pia didn’t connect with the audience as much as maybe we think she did. And she wasn’t voted through.”

Nigel Lythgoe Pic

To be fair, Nigel isn't anti-Pia, he's just stating facts.

Nigel, who also produces and judges So You Think You Can Dance, did say that Idol could consider changing the voting format next year to mirror SYTYCD.

On that show, America determines the bottom three, but the judges decide who leaves. That is ultimately a call for Idol creator Simon Fuller, Lythgoe said.

What do you think? Would you rather have Steven, Randy and J. Lo make that call in order to prevent another shocking result like we saw last Thursday?

Or, would stripping America of its final say actually hurt the format? 


Pia won going away, she hadn't peaked as yet, while all of the others are sporadic, Lauren is a weak substitute and has no stage presence haley is becoming predictable and inconsistent,
Scotty aka Howdy Doody? one song is indistinguishable from another, James has great entertainment value, but can't compare to Casey James in voice or musician. the judges go overboard, and only gave criticism to Pia. All of it is false praise Simon is missed more each week, Jacob, I would love to have in my church choir but couldn;t sell tickets. Stefano couldn;t get a part on Glee. Each week is getting progressively weaker. The voting has to change for this show to survive. Bring Simon back. Jimmy was great in his reprimand to Scotty and Jacob, Jimmy did not do Pia any favors, JLO and Randy said it all, Pia will be doing 2 -3 hour concerts
I do not see anybody else who would sell tickets to as wide an audience.


Whay change voting?I liked her,but if she did not have votes,so what?She can stil record and have album.Take Adam Lambert,he did not win and he has an album and people love him.People saw her and her talent,we will not forget her.


Have watched Idol from day 1. This was the worst decision made as of yet. I believe many thought Pia was safe so voted for others to "save" them, just a hunch. Stephano? OMG. More of the same, put him on the pile and it is a big pile.
If I could change anything it would be to give each judge a save. If used the next week 2 go. They could not use them after say week 5.
Have to go now. Have to solve other world problems.


I was shocked when Pia was voted off the program,but when you look at the comments to her to get out of the box and try up beat songs which was repeated over and over by Randy and Jennifer, but they praised others like Scotty, Jacob and Casey for staying true to themselves. The judges shot Pia down by their inconsistentancy in telling the contestants conflicting steps to improve. Yes the judges should make the final decision.Not the calls based on popularity rather than true talent.


I think the producer is correct and Why u keep on questioning about this result when infact it was announced already that she was out already and im so happy that Stefano is safe, he is also a good singer and the result is fair. Thanks to all voters u choice the right singer to go on d competition. So, we vote for idol singer like casey and james durban and stefano, they are a good singer. Good luck all of u.


Althought Executive Producer Niget Lithgoe says that Pia Toscano was not the front-runner I think he fails to understand his viewers. Perhaps front-runner in the sense that Pia may not have garnered the most votes but I believe she has the most viewers. I guess we'll see Wednesday night which is more important. I predict a significant drop in viewership. When that happens we'll see what the sponsors think (Ford, Coke, etc). Mr. Lithgoe's arrogant attitude is typical of executives attempting to spin opinions, but in this case I think its clear, a gross injustice was done. The format was wrong. I hope it wasn't Mr. Lithgoe that thought Ellen DeGeneres was a good choice for an American Idol judge and then double-down and brought in Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez neither of which has given any constructive criticism this season.


Pia Toscano is "An American Idol", I totally disagree with the judges. Sorry Steven Tyler, even though I'm an Aerosmith Fan.


Good guys have been voted off before and they seemed to do OK for themselves. Maybe we don't always get it right, but at least we have a say....more than going to "vote" during a political election...because if we "get it wrong" then some court or judge will over-rule the voters. Let's just keep it like it is and let our votes count...


I'm so sick of people getting voted off & then complaining. I didn't see Chris Daughtry complain or try to get the judges to put him back on when he was eliminated of Catherine McGee. If fans didn't want her gone they should have voted for her. I for one think she has a beautiful voice but she bored me. I was so glad to watch it on DVR & fast forward before she put me to sleep.


I think the judging should change. I think the judges should have a vote on who stays and goes until the final 5 have preformed. After that, then I think they should have 1 save and use that with the final 5. I also think if the producers don't want to do it that way, then use a format where you only get so many votes; i.e. 13 votes for the final 13, 12 for the final 12, etc. I think the judges should still have one or two saves and use them until the final 5. I know I was very disappointed that there was nothing anyone could do to keep Pia on the show, but I can say, if the judging doesn't change I will be one person that will no longer watch this program. All the best in every endevor to Pia!

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]