Nigel, 65, was an executive producer of the show from 2002-2013
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj lasted only one season as judges in 2013
A video was leaked to TMZ at the time which showed the pair fighting

Former American Idol executive producer Nigle Lythgoe has blamed the show’s demise on the hiring Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj as judges.

Nigel, 65, who was at the helm of the show when it first started in 2002, has revealed that casting Mariah and Nicki in 2012 was a ‘major failing’ for the show, which has now come to an end after 15 seasons.

‘Mariah and Nicki was just crazy, and then it really started becoming about the judges and took away from the contestants altogether,’ Nigel told Billboard.

Mariah and Nicki joined the show in 2012 for season 12 (which aired at the beginning of 2013), and rumors of their falling out quickly overshadowed any of the talented contestants.

Before the show premiered in January 2013, a video was leaked to TMZ that showed Mariah and Nicki.

Pointing out that the pair clearly didn’t get along, Nigel said: ‘I think that was a major failing on the part of casting to have those two together. On their own, either one may have been successful.’

Nigel stepped down as executive producer in 2008 for seasons eight and nine, but then returned in late 2010 for seasons 10, 11, and 12.

Meanwhile Simon Cowell told People of the news: ‘We had a blast! Me, Paula, Randy, Ryan – and not forgetting Brian.’

Adding: ‘Thanks to the fans we were able to make some great shows and found some amazing artists. Fox took a risk on a brand new show and I want to thank them for giving us the opportunity. They really were great times.’

The news of American Idol’s cancellation was announced by the network on Monday, after it was revealed that show will go off the air after its 15th and final season next spring.

The cast from the past few seasons, with Ryan Seacrest as host and Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. as judges, will return for a season-long celebration of the show’s history.

American Idol faded over the past few years, eclipsed in the music competition genre it pioneered by ‘The Voice’ on NBC.

The Voice has managed to tap in to a younger demographic over the last two years as those same viewers aged 18-49 seemed to slip away from American Idol.

Personnel changes didn’t help, and neither did tinkering with the format, as the show fell victim to what usually kills off most television series – old age.

The former ratings juggernaut reached its peak in 2006, when Idol drew over 36 million viewers for its season finale.

The series averaged 12.69 million viewers during its initial run in 2002, but exploded quickly thereafter, reaching a peak average of more than 30 million viewers each episode in 2006, according to the Nielsen company.

It continued averaging more than 20 million viewers an episode through the 2011 season, when its popularity declined.


Its star at Fox was eclipsed this season by the music-based soap opera Empire, which will launch its second season in the fall. So far this year, ‘American Idol’ is averaging 9.15 million viewers per episode, Nielsen said.

The show will run in a similar format next season as it has this year, airing Wednesday and Thursday nights starting in January for the beginning stages, then once a week on Thursday for the second part of the season, Fox said.

Dana Walden, co-chairman and CEO of the Fox Television Group, described it as a ‘pretty emotional decision’ to end ‘American Idol.’

Walden said there are no specific plans yet, but that several former contestants and judges have already expressed ‘a lot of enthusiasm’ for coming back and celebrating the show’s legacy in its final year.

Ryan Seacrest tweeted a confirmation of the news Monday morning along with a hint of the big things yet to come.

‘yes next year will be our final season of @AmericanIdol :( this show’s been a big part of my life for so long… hard to imagine it w/out it,’ Seacrest wrote.

He later tweeted: ‘next season will be emotional yes, but next season will be unforgettable. i can’t wait #idol’

According to E! Online, Fox has already met with former hosts concerning the upcoming farewell season.

‘There’s a lot of enthusiasm about coming back and paying tribute,’ said Walden, with E! suggesting guest judges would likely include the original lineup of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

It was not an easy decision. American Idol has been such a vital part of Fox for its run,’ said Gary Newman, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO.

He promised a season-long celebration that matches the show’s significance, with the suggestion that its big-name contestants and past judges may be involved.

‘We’re going to deliver a really special season next year,’ Newman said.

‘Idol’ was a quick hit, with fans following contestants who sought the prized ‘yellow ticket’ to Hollywood and a chance at stardom. In the early years, ‘American Idol’ also showed many of the cringe-worthy auditions of contestants with no hope of winning, but has generally resisted those recently.

Simon Cowell, the Brit with a tart tongue and honest assessments, became a star as judge, along with his fellow originals, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

The big-voiced Clarkson became a major pop star after winning ‘Idol,’ and Underwood is a solid performer on the country charts. Personalities like Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken also became household names after competing on ‘Idol.’



04/11/2015 AT 06:40 PM EDT

Kim Kardashian West and Khloé Kardashian continued their eight-day tour of Armenia on Saturday, visiting their dilapidated ancestral home.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians stars, who are visiting Armenia along with Kim’s husband Kanye West and daughter North West, and cousins Kourtni and Kara, spent Saturday in Gyumri, a city outside the Armenian capital of Yerevan. Armenian records reflect that ancestors of the Kardashian family lived in the historical town.

The famous family traveled to their long-abandoned ancestral home. With rusted sheet metal walls, the roofless and debris-covered home proved harrowing for Kim, 34, who looked overwhelmed by the modest structure. Along with her sister, and family, the reality star explored the remains of the dilapidated house.

Earlier in the week, Khloé and Kim visited the Mother Armenia statue in Yerevan, a memorial commemorating the victims of the Armenian genocide.

The trip, which is being documented for the next season of KUWTK, comes shortly before the 100th anniversary of the tragic genocide on April 24. Khloé and Kim’s father, lawyer Robert Kardashian, who passed away in 2003, was a third-generation Armenian American.

The trip also included a meeting with the current Armenian Prime Minister, Hovik Abrahamyan, on Thursday. “He expressed how proud they are that we are proud Armenians and we have not forgotten our roots!” Kim Tweeted of the meeting on Thursday.

New Details on Rob Kardashian’s Struggles in the Spotlight


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The 22-year-old gets buck nekkid in the new issue of -sharing a couple of the racy snaps with her legion of followers on Instagram.

Miley captioned one of the pics-which shows her posing, standing nude in the bath, one arm behind her head, with just a few strategically placed bubbles to save her modesty-in true, semi-nonsensical Cyrus fashion.

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In another pic, captioned, “Order your issue of @vmagazine now #dirtyhippie photography @cheythom fuckkkkkk yasssssss” a smoldering Miley is seen lying on the floor, looking provocatively at the camera, clad in the skimpiest black undies known to man, clutching an apple in her right hand.

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