simon cowell nigel lythgoe gi 320 'American Idol': Nigel Lythgoe promises no mean people, Katharine McPhee releases new video“American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe has come out swinging against former judge Simon Cowell “[Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler] are artists, so there isn’t this attitude of, ‘Are
you going to make me money? Are you going to make my company money?'” he tells Emmy Magazine. He also added that people looking for Cowell’s signature unkindness may not want to tune in. “If you like people being mean to people, you’ll miss it.” Finally, he addressed how the new judges are more open-minded than Cowell. “They haven’t got this attitude — you know, Simon, bless him, hated
country music. So as soon as a country singer came in,
he turned off straight away and they weren’t going to go anywhere.” [CNN]

Katharine McPhee
debuted the music video for her holiday single “It’s Not Christmas Without You” on Dec. 10. In the video, when the Season 5 runner-up learns she won’t be able to spend Christmas with her man, she turns her hotel into a winter wonderland. Her holiday album “Christmas is the time… (To Say I Love You) is on sale now. [VEVO]

Arguably two of the least relevant “Idol” winners (that would be Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks) came together and performed “A Woman’s Gotta Have It”and “Get Funky” at Hicks’ show in Birmingham, Alabama. Season 2 champ Studdard made a surprise appearance at the season 5 winner’s set at The Workplay Club. [MJ’s Big Blog]

“Idol” slot machines debuted in Las Vegas this week at all MGM properties. The star-studded game aims to reunite players with on-screen
familiar faces like Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres. The game, which features vivid LCD screens, will play hit songs from the show. [via press release]

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