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Idol Memories with Nigel Lythgoe
42 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
EP 014 - THE FINALE
In the Season One finale of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe covers the finale results show for the first season of American Idol. Runner-up Justin Guarini joins Nigel to recount the Idol finale where he faced the hardest challenges of the competition and reveals why neither he nor Kelly Clarkson wanted to win. Then Nigel is joined by American Idol Stage Manager, Debbie Williams, who reveals what else was going on behind the scenes during the finale that even Nigel wasn’t aware of.
46 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
EP 013 - SING OFF - FINALE PT 1
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe covers the live finale where Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson performed for the final time in hopes of getting America’s votes and winning American Idol. While the show may have amazed and entertained the audience, both live and watching from their couches at home, it was a stressful frenzy behind the scenes that barely came together in time. Listen as Nigel recounts the many bumps in the road while catching up with some of this season’s guests including music supervisor Susan Slamer, producer Charles Boyd, and fan-favorite judge Randy Jackson!
43 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
EP 012 - TOP 3 & NIKKI MCKIBBIN
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe covers the Top 3 performances! Finalist Nikki McKibbin then joins him for an interview and talks about everything from romances between contestants to how Tamyra Gray found out she was eliminated before the official announcement and she isn’t holding anything back.
51 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
EP 011 - TOP 5 & CHARLES BOYD
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe covers the Top 5 and Top 4 shows and recaps the performances from contestants who were all doing their best to overcome sore throats and tired voices. Then he speaks with Charles Boyd who was brought on as a producer of American Idol to improve the dynamic between hosts Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman.
32 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
EP 010 - SUSAN SLAMER
In the tenth episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe speaks with Susan Slamer, the Music Supervisor for the first four seasons of American Idol. Listen in as Susan shares her stories of musically educating the contestants and the drawn-out song selection process where contestants were entrusted to pick the best song for them. Nigel and Susan enjoy reminiscing about their antics, which you won’t want to miss!
53 minutes | Aug 20, 2020
EP 009 - TOP 10
This may be episode 9 of Idol Memories, but this week American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, is taking us back to Season One’s Top 10! Contestants performed in front of a live audience for the first time, which came with its perks and complications. Nigel breaks down each performance - the good, the bad, and the disappointing from the Top 10 to the Top 6. The producers knew the live shows were a make it or break it moment for the show and they did not disappoint!
50 minutes | Aug 15, 2020
EP 008 - VOCAL COACH DEBRA BYRD
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, talks to world-renowned American Idol vocal coach, Debra Byrd, known by many as simply “Byrd.” This tell-all interview is a must-listen for fans of the show who obsess over the vocal performances or are even singers themselves as Byrd breaks down how she handled the task of coaching the contestants. Listen as she and Nigel reveal all the behind-the-scenes vocal secrets!
45 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
EP 007 - POP IDOL
In this episode of Idol Memories, Nigel takes a look back at Pop Idol and the team that made it, revealing production secrets including their audition methods and the importance of contestants’ emotional backstories to bolster their likeability with the audience. Nigel is then joined again by longtime friend Ken Warwick, a producer on Pop Idol and American Idol, to discuss the many trials and tribulations of Pop Idol’s first season.
40 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
EP 006 - WILD CARD ROUND
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, reads press reviews of American Idol that were published during the first season and they might surprise you. Then we get right into the Wild Card round, the only elimination decision not made by America, where the judges decide which contestant will advance to the Top 10! Nigel is joined by Season One runner-up, Justin Guarini, who reveals he was offered a role in The Lion King on Broadway during the filming of American Idol that he turned down. Plus, the moment Justin realized how big of a hit the show had become! On this episode of Idol Memories, Nigel Lythgoe covers: Press reviews of American Idol’s first season - the good and bad Wild Card performances The judges’ challenge to pick the perfect Wild Card contestant to advance Justin Guarini’s decision between continuing to compete on American Idol or performing on Broadway The moment Justin realized how huge the show had become The official Top 10 of Season One
44 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
EP 005 - Third Semi-Final
In this episode of Idol Memories Nigel Lythgoe starts by recalling his and Paula Abdul’s most embarrassing moments in their lives (and we are definitely feeling some secondhand embarrassment)! Nigel then continues reminiscing about Season One, focusing on the third semi-final round, where Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson got into a huge argument, and he has all the behind the scenes information that never made it to air. Then the one and only Randy Jackson makes another appearance on the show to give his side of the story. On this episode of Idol Memories, Nigel Lythgoe covers: One of the most embarrassing moments of Nigel’s life One of the most embarrassing moments of Paula’s life (hint: it involves some famous Jacksons) The third round of Season 1’s semi-finals Delano Cagnolotti’s disqualification from the competition for lying about his age EJay Day’s return to the competition as Delano’s replacement Simon and Randy’s big on-air fight (and what wasn’t aired)
35 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
EP 004 - Second Semi-Final
In this episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, is taking us back to season one’s second semi-final round. From the performances to the judges’ feedback, Nigel remembers every detail. Then he chats with Jim Verraros, who placed ninth in the first season, about his controversial elimination and reinstatement into the competition. They go on to discuss Verraros’ experience being a “guinea pig” for a new reality television show. On this episode of Idol Memories, Nigel Lythgoe covers: The first season’s second semi-final round Jim Verraros’ reaction to his unaired and revoked elimination Who Verraros thought was going to win Verraros’ memories of fellow contestants & the experience of being on a new reality show
42 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
EP 003 - First Semi-Final
In the third episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, takes us behind the curtain of the season one semi-finals, including a failed attempt to change the show’s audience-driven format for shock value. Nigel also chats with Idol Stage Manager, Debbie Williams, about producing the first live shows and why Nigel wasn’t allowed to hold onto anything important. Then Randy Jackson joins Nigel to reflect about the first season, his hesitation to become a judge on the show, and the singers who stood out to him.
35 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
EP 002 - Hollywood Auditions/PopStars
In the second episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, reveals the truth about American Idol’s Hollywood auditions (a fan favorite) from where they took place to the reason behind making contestants stay up all night to learn a new song. Nigel goes on to reflect about being introduced to the reality TV show Popstars through his son Simon, and how its success is what led to the creation of Pop Idol and American Idol. Plus, it earned Nigel the nickname of “Nasty Nigel.” Simon Lythgoe is a television producer known for Popstars, American Idol, Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings, and So You Think You Can Dance.
48 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
EP 001 - Idol America
In the premiere episode of Idol Memories, American Idol Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, reminisces about his decision to bring the UK’s Pop Idol across the pond to America and the chaos that ensued. From naming the show to building the judging panel, every decision had to be perfect to allow this reality television competition show to take off, and with the perfect personalities in place - it did! As successful as it was, there were times, like during the initial auditions, where it seemed they wouldn’t be able to find the right talent. It even looked as though they were going to lose a judge before live shows even started, but it all worked out for the best as American Idol went on to become America’s iconic eight-time Emmy-winning performance show that started a reality TV boom! ABOUT THIS EPISODE'S GUESTS: Ken Warwick is a British television executive producer and director, most noted for producing the reality television series American Idol, and Pop Idol. In this episode he joins Nigel Lythgoe to reminisce about transforming Pop Idol into a show for American audiences and convincing Simon Cowell to join the show. Justin Guarini, American Idol Season 1 finalist and runner-up, joins Nigel as they look back on his first audition.
3 minutes | May 26, 2020
Introducing Idol Memories
The Idol Memories podcast is a series of conversations and memories about America’s greatest 8-time Emmy-winning performance show, American Idol, hosted by the show’s executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who has been a pioneer in reality television and a driving force in the world of performing arts. Following 17 successful seasons of American Idol, Nigel and former American Idol contestants, producers, and production team members remember their favorite memories on and off-camera. The tears, the laughter, the heartbreaks, and even heart attacks - they talk about it all. From the renowned and notorious judges of the show to the most memorable performances, get a peek into a never-before-seen side of American Idol!
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