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"American Idol 's" Tanking Because Judges Don't Have Good Chemistry, Admits Exec. Producer

FoxAmerican Idol ratings this season have been disappointing, to say the least, and according to the show's executive producer, the blame for that can be placed squarely on the four people sitting at the judges' table.

In an interview with, Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe describes the mix of Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson as "a bit like a jigsaw puzzle that doesn't quite fit," and adds, "I don't think we have good chemistry with the judges."

"That saddens me. They are good individually, but I miss the camaraderie we have had in the past," Lythgoe continues, saying that he felt the leaked audio of the cat fight between Mariah and Nicki last year "got off to a bad start," and it's just been downhill from there. 

That's not to say that Lythgoe doesn't like the judges individually, of course. "The guys themselves are -- goodness me, I don't think you could find two nicer men," Lythgoe says of Randy and Keith.  "Randy is loved by America, and Keith is the nicest man you could hope to meet. Individually, every single one of them has something to offer."

The executive producer, sometimes referred to by Idol-watchers as Uncle Nigel, says it's a shame that the judges' discord is affecting the show, because the season has "been an incredibly brilliant for talent."  

So what's the solution?  Will the judges all be dumped for a new set next season?  Lythgoe says he has nothing to do with it.  "FOX books the judges and has the last few years," he says.

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ABC News Radio