Nigel Lythgoe: Paula Abdul ‘Can’t Do’ ‘Idol’; Hopes Randy Jackson Stays

Following Nigel Lythgoe’s announcement that he’s returning to “American Idol after a two-season absence, the executive producer talked to Access Hollywood about rumors of new judges and changes he wants for the next season of the hit FOX reality series.

“I would of loved to get [Paula Abdul] on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ too,” Nigel told’s Laura Saltman backstage at “SYTYCD” on Thursday, when asked about Paula’s possible return to the judge’s table. “I sort of go around saying, ‘You know, I’d love for you to come on the show Paula, and she always says yes to me but, of course, she can’t do it.”

Paula is currently signed to judge and executive produce CBS’s “Got To Dance.”

Nigel does hope original judge Randy Jackson keeps his seat at the “Idol” judge’s table, saying, “I think it’s really important to keep as much continuity as possible but at the end of the day.”

As for rumors that Jennifer Lopez and rocker Steven Tyler are joining the series, Nigel told Access that nothing is certain.

“I’m going back to join the team now. So, we’ll all be discussing it,” he said when asked the rumored new judges. “What I would recommend… is that we don’t just don’t look at the individuals but we look at how they sit together.”

According to Nigel, the swirling reports about the “Idol” judges have gotten out of hand.

“I think we’ve lost a little bit of focus and we’ve concentrated on the judges…Kara joining, making four judges. Do we need four judges? Simon didn’t get to say anything and then Paula leaving and then Ellen joining and then Simon leaving,” he told Access. “It was all about the judges and we forgot about the main thing, which is the talent and who is going to be the next ‘Idol’ and are they worthy of that title.”

The executive producer would also like to see some changes made to show’s format in the upcoming season – possibly getting rid of the top 36 or top 24 and focusing on the show’s top 12.

“I think there’s too many people. You don’t know who they are. You’re asking the public to vote that doesn’t know them. They’re going on the strength of maybe knowing a song rather than knowing the kids talent,” he told Access. “So, I would like to see that Hollywood area… become much more focused, seeing them work with other stars.”

He hinted at a possible appearance of more well established music artists in the upcoming season.

“I loved the finale when they worked with the older stars,” he added. “It’d be great to bring the older stars in there and see how the interact with them. Let’s find out their personalities. Let’s find out if they can move!”

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