`Idol' is `an open race,' says producer

Lythgoe is `wary' of early favorites

March 28, 2007|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,sun staff

Don't crown Lakisha Jones -- or rival Melinda Doolittle -- the new American Idol just yet.

That's what Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of the hit Fox series American Idol, told reporters yesterday during a telephone news conference.

When asked if the talent show hasn't already become a two-person contest, Lythgoe said, "I've seen the three divas -- if you remember, they were LaToya London, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia [from Season 3]. And I've seen them cancel each other out."

So, he has become "wary" about early favorites, Lythgoe said.

"Don't forget, I know the results every week, so I can do my own equations, thank you. ... So, that's why I'm saying it is an open race at the moment."

Meanwhile, feasting on its best ratings ever for Idol, Fox announced longer episodes for April 11 and 18 and May 2. The network had planned half-hour results shows but now all three Wednesday installments will be an hour.

David Zurawik

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