Nigel Lythgoe Thinks The President Can Save “American Idol”

nigel lythgoe

Posted by on 01/28/2012 at 11:30 AM News

The Popdust Files: american idol, barack obama, Nigel Lythgoe, twitter

Nigel Lythgoe, American Idol producer and noted Twitter user, largely tweets Idol and So You Think You Can Dance marginalia, but every so often there’s something worth pulling out of the mix on a Saturday morning. Like this:

Lythgoe’s referring, of course, to Obama’s proven couple bars of Al Green, and as Idol montages have taught some of us, a couple bars and a personality is all it takes to succeed or fail on the show. Does this sound a little far-fetched? A little outside the duties of the executive branch? Possibly, but the show got a cameo by Daniel C. Burbank, an astronaut who unlike you has been in outer space. World leaders can’t be all that far behind, possibly, if you think like a showrunner.

Speaking of thinking like a showrunner, this would at least boost ratings a bit. I mean, here’s what I just did: I actually searched for “State of the Union ratings,” feeling all the time the founders’ dim aura of disapproval. (I’d tell you which founders yelled and which just stood there silently, but that’d be getting into a layer of historical hangups I never knew I had. Or 1776.) Anyway, ratings this year for Obama’s address were down, but only down to 37.75 million viewers–more than double Idol‘s last tally: 16.9 million.

This is a bad comparison. The State of the Union address was broadcast on 14 networks, including the big ones (ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC.) Idol wan’t. And the president’s address is a major, storied world event that people watch for things other than entertainment value. Only recappers watch Idol for more than the latter. But presidential involvement’s the one part of the State of the Union address Idol can replicate! And piggybacking off memes, like planking, is not something Idol‘s ever minded. Hey, it’s not just our joke. (He retweeted that, as well as a few other quips and quarrels.

This is where I’d probably ask “do you think Obama should appear on American Idol?” but I can think of about ten responses we might get, eight of them too politically charged for a music site. So keeping politics and reality-TV appearances out of it, the duet might be cool. (Did Idol contact Al Green, too?) Or possibly a guest judging spot. Wait, now I’m thinking like a showrunner again. Time to go!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-hDt2E8MoE

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