Exclusive Podcast: ‘Idol’ Producer Says Tonight’s Episode is Far From Shocking

May 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

After raising almost $70 million (and counting) in last week’s fund-raising event, “American Idol” is back to the chopping block, playing catch-up with two eliminations.

In this week’s exclusive Backlot Talk, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said the results are far from shocking.

The six contestants stepped into the limelight on Tuesday ready to rock the stage Bon Jovi-style after recovering from the Latin fever two weeks ago.

“It’s a hell of a competition when you’re asked to go through what they go through-from Jennifer Lopez Latino Night to Bon Jovi Rock Night,” Mr. Lythgoe said. “There are no other singers in the country that do this, and we don’t expect them to. But what it does show is how they’re learning every week to perform. We know they can sing now-goodness me, they’re in the top six, and after tonight, the top four-and it’s going to be a hard night for them.”

Phone lines stayed open for four hours Tuesday night in an effort to “make things fair,” Mr. Lythgoe said, resulting in numbers very close to last week’s voting tallies.

These results also are telling about who America is zoning in on as the season comes to an end, the showrunner said.

“I think people have decided now who they would like to see go through. … We’ve moved on and we’re ready to go for the finale and I think they’ve decided, ‘We want this person in our finale.'”

But what song will the winner sing? After poring through 500 of the 25,000 songs submitted, “Idol” creator Simon Fuller told Mr. Lythgoe that he hadn’t yet heard one he liked.

Wednesday’s show will include a performance by Bon Jovi and rising R&B star Robin Thicke. Lines will still be open to make donations for those who didn’t have a chance last week, and videos can be downloaded from iTunes, with those proceeds going toward the charities as well.

For the full interview with Mr. Lythgoe, go to TVWeek.com’s Backlot Talk to listen to the podcast.