X Factor lacks integrity - Lythgoe
Simon Cowell has destroyed the "integrity" of The X Factor by putting on novelty acts who lack talent, American Idol's Nigel Lythgoe has claimed
Simon quit his judging role on Idol in May last year to launch The X Factor in the US this autumn.
But Nigel, the hit show's executive producer, told the Radio Times that viewers had not missed TV's so-called Mr Nasty. He said: "In a way, I'm delighted Simon's left American Idol. He's given us the opportunity to refurbish it.
"Everyone said that it would be the end. And what's happened? The ratings are equal to last year's, we got 30 million votes the other evening, and if we lost 50 per cent of our audience we would still be the number one show."
Simon is taking The X Factor, with himself as judge and executive producer, to Fox TV with a record five million dollar (£3.09 million) recording contract for the winner of the series.
But Nigel said: "You have to choose contestants with talent - unless they have an incredible story to tell.
"I don't class The X Factor as a talent show. Look at (former contestants) Jedward and Wagner. They're on because we love the fun and the circus of it.
"Simon knows what he's doing - it certainly gives the press something to feed off. But it destroys the integrity of the show."
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, singer Jennifer Lopez and record producer Randy Jackson are this year's judges on American Idol, the biggest show in the US.
Nigel returns this week as a judge on BBC One Saturday evening show So You Think You Can Dance.