TCA: Nigel Lythgoe Admits “Personality Wins Over Technique” On ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Nigel Lythgoe, ousted in June as an EP of American Idol, did not offer comment about that show during this morning’s TCA panel on So You Think You Can Dance, where Lythgoe serves as a judge.

But at the panel (held on the SYTYCD stage at CBS Television City) he did offer a friendly dig at the dance competition’s network, Fox. Joining the other producers in talking about the longevity of the show, now in its 10th season, Lythgoe dryly lauded the dance show for “providing Fox with over half of its Emmy nominations this year.” (SYTYCD got 7, including a host nom for Cat Deeley).

Related: Fox Taps Executive Producer Of Swedish ‘Idol’ As New ‘American Idol’ EP; Nigel Lythgoe Says “It Has Been A Great Ride”

Lythgoe was also asked to comment on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars‘ plan to reduce its competition shows from two nights to one. “I didn’t know of that,” he said but called it “a shame” that the actual dancing and the announcement of who’s getting axed will now necessarily be on the same program.

“I won’t lie to you. I hate doing the results,” Lythgoe said. He said fans didn’t like hearing the bad news before the dancing on SYTCD so they moved their own announcements to the end of the show. “It’s horrible,” Lythgoe said, adding of DWTS: “I don’t know why they’ve gone to once a week, but I think it’s a shame.”

Related: Even ‘American Idol’s Nigel Lythgoe Gets Weary of Product Placement

Lythgoe was also blunt about what makes a winner on SYTCD: personality, not dance technique. “We are an entertainment show. Dance is a very niche market,” he said. “We need to bring as many people to the party as possible.” (more…)

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