Nigel Lythgoe Signs Two-Year 'Idol' Deal: Are We Getting More Singing and Less Backstory?
Rumor finally becomes fact: Nigel Lythgoe has signed a two-year deal to return to American Idol as executive producer.

Lythgoe, who currently acts as both executive producer and judge of So You Think You Can Dance, will join fellow EPs Simon Fuller, Ken Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz, show representatives told USA Today.

This confirmation definitely puts into swing that planned "spring cleaning" of the show, which reached a climax last week, with Ellen DeGeneres leaving the show, Kara DioGuardi reportedly being fired, and Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler rumored to be getting offers to replace them both.

Talking to Variety, Lythgoe agreed with the idea of having Lopez and Tyler as judges: "She had some great pop records ... [and] he has come through the whole rock 'n' roll circus. Why wouldn't you want a legend there? You never know what he's going to say."

He's also hoping to be able to bring back Paula Abdul as a judge, but if there's one thing that definitely won't happen, it's him sitting as a judge. "Simon Cowell is brilliant ... but we all have to move on," Lythgoe said. The goal, he added, is to make sure the judges have chemistry.

Maybe they're looking into this: The Los Angeles Times reports that legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine -- who has worked with Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Eminem -- has been given a "significant role" in the show. However, the newspaper suggests he won't be a judge, but more of a mentor. The show's reps wouldn't comment, however.

The one thing on top of Nigel's list, though, is to return the show's focus back on the contestants. "That has got to be the priority ... more than the judges' panel," he said. "The judges are there for two minutes. The contestants are there through the entire program." If he had his way, it'd mean less sob story and more singing.

But with all this chatter going on, I'm not sure how Idol's tenth season will turn out.

(Image courtesy of Fox)