'American Idol' briefs: Nigel Lythgoe can't bear to watch 'Idol' anymore; Power 2; Top 100 'Idol' songs of all time

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Nigel Lythgoe, promoting the 11th season of "So You Think You Can Dance" today in a phone press conference starting May 28, said he can't bear to watch "American Idol" anymore since he was unceremoniously fired last year.

"To be frank," he said to me, "it upsets me personally having left the show to watch it. I'm hugely supportive. I love the judges. I can honestly say I have not seen much of the talent. I wish it every success."

I can't blame him. It was his baby and it's hard to watch something under those circumstances.

He did say his own "So You Think You Can Dance" show is in trouble since its ratings keep dropping, averaging fewer than 5 million viewers last year, the worst to date. He is hoping that he at least holds the ratings of last year, thinking in this day and age that this will be enough to garner a 12th season.

The show, which brings back Mary Murphy as his permanent co-judge, will continue with a rotating third judge. (On the first episode May 28, Wayne Brady in New Orleans and Jenna Elfman in Chicago are the guests.)

Inspired by the crews in Atlanta, he said the show will include dance crews, too, in a separate mini-competition hosted by part-time Atlantan Justin Bieber. "He's a big fan of the show," Lythgoe said.

The show will also go back to featuring one single winner instead of a male and female winner.

And he is still not a fan of not having a results show. He says it's difficult to squeeze in an elimination into a performance show. "I don't like it. I've never liked it," he said. "But I totally understand it if they aren't getting the viewers. Unfortunately, it does make sense."


Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

We're down to two so here is my rather brief Power ranking for tomorrow's finale performance show.

1) Jena Irene. In a year we thought would be all about the guys, a woman is now favored. She has several factors going for her: her youth, her pliability, her versatility, her stage presence, her unique vocal stylings and her pop sensibility. All that makes her the likeliest winner and the most marketable, too.

2) Caleb Johnson. He has been a favorite to win for much of the competition but he has a major problem: he doesn't feel modern. He is a throwback to the 1980s hair metal days or even the 1970s Meat Loaf days. It's really his voice and his stylings that simply don't jibe with what's hot and current. Given that many voters are now well past the age where this matters, he will make it a close call and might even pull an upset. But his voice is not 100% and he appears doomed to runner-up status. (Not that folks like Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken have any reason to complain on that front.)


Fred Bronson, Billboard chart guru and huge "Idol' fan, compiled the 100 biggest "Idol' songs based on Billboard chart performance alone.

Not surprisingly, Kelly Clarkson dominates the chart with 18 songs, six in the top 10.

Carrie Underwood only has one in the top 20 because most of her hits have been isolated to country. Her big cross-over song "Before He Cheats" came in No. 9.

Daughtry, Phillip Phillips and Jordin Sparks also were in the top 10.

Here is the top 20. See the entire top 100 here.

1. Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson

2. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson

3. No Air - Jordin Sparks

4. Behind These Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson

5. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson

6. Home - Phillip Phillips

7. Because of You - Kelly Clarkson

8. My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson

9. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood

10. It's Not Over - Daughtry

11. A Moment Like This - Kelly Clarkson

12. Tattoo - Jordin Sparks

13. Home - Daughtry

14. This is the Night - Clay Aiken

15. Sorry 2004 - Ruben Studdard

16. Miss Independent - Kelly Clarkson

17. Wait For You - Elliott Yamin

18. Inside  Your Heaven - Carrie Underwood

19. Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson

20. Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson


Carrie Underwood dueted with Miranda Lambert with "Something Bad" last night on the Billboard Music Awards on ABC.  The raccoon makeup is awful but otherwise, it's not bad.

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