American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has admitted the FOX show didn’t focus enough on the contestants last season – and has vowed to bring the emotion back next January. ‘Our biggest failure on Idol was we didn’t put across the characters of the people and put the drama in there,’ he told OK! ‘We never rest on our laurels. We want to increase the emotional hooks for the audience next year. I’d like to know the contestants an awful lot better.’ Idol suffered criticism after celebrity mentors such as Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez dominated the show and ratings slipped. Now the reality TV producer is looking to make the kids – and not their famous mentors and guests – the stars again.’I love the mentors and … I don’t want to give that up altogether … what I do want to do is make sure that we concentrate on the real talent on the show and that is the competitors,’ Nigel said. Nigel is pleased that the most talented contestant, Jordin Sparks, won, but refused to diss vocally challenged Sanjaya Malakar because he inspired Idol fans.’I think Sanjaya helped last season,’ he said. By Carole GlinesPhoto: Wireimage.com

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