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'American Idol': Exec producer says voting won't change... this season

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American Idol Lopez Tyler
Michael Becker/Fox/PictureGroup

After Pia Toscano’s surprising early exit and the almost-ouster of Casey Abrams from American Idol, questions have swirled about the singing competition’s voting process and what — if anything — should be done to fix it. The show’s executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said in a recent interview that the voting process could be changing, and earlier today, fellow American Idol executive producer Ken Warwick confirmed that the minds behind Idol will be evaluating the voting system.

“We’re going to have discussions about it,” Warwick said in an interview with journalists from around the country. “Maybe we’ll change the voting system slightly next year. Maybe we’ll limit the number of SMS votes or online votes, but it will remain the same this year.” And that’s worth noting: Warwick kept reiterating that no voting changes — some have suggested that the show should adopt So You Think You Can Dance‘s tactic of letting the judges choose who goes home from a bottom three, as voted by America — will be implemented this year. Warwick did address the judge-centric voting, specifically. “I wouldn’t put too much faith in anything,” he said. “That’s just one of the solutions or ideas on the table. There are a number. We won’t be putting anything into practice — well, I’m pretty sure we won’t — until next year.”

Warwick spoke on a variety of other topics about American Idol, including the judges liking everyone on the show this year, whether he’s fearful about The X-Factor‘s premiere this fall, and advice he’d have for Pia. Keep reading for all the details from Warwick:

• Does it hurt the show that the judges all like all the contestants on the show this year? “The truth of the matter is that these kids are very good, and I wouldn’t influence the judges to say anything they didn’t believe. However, Jen [Lopez] did say last week, ‘I only have two girlies left, you’re one of my girls. Come on, America!’ They are trying to keep things on the straight and narrow, where there is a genuine feeling.”

• Why do boys do better on the show? “We are aware that, with the social networking that goes on these days and with the Tweeting and text votes — because predominantly young girls and moms are the driving force behind these kinds of shows, probably more prominently now — the vote is going to be slewed toward boys. We’re going to have discussions about [changing the voting system next year].”

• Are those in the American Idol camp scared of The X-Factor‘s impending fall premiere? “I can’t get worried about it. What will be, will be. I’m amazed and very proud of the fact that we’ve been here for 10 years.”

• What should Pia Toscano do next? “She needs to be able to record songs that people want to buy and listen to and download. Hopefully, she’ll get some expert guidance and talent behind her. Personally, she went at the wrong time for me. The girl obviously has something that people want to listen to, and that’s why she’s been successful. She’s a nice girl, she’s lovely, and she’s on a lot of shows at the moment, mostly because people think an injustice was done. Bless her, she’s on the show again this week, she’ll be going on the tour at the end of the series, and I sincerely hope she makes it.”

• Is there a hard and fast rule about using instruments on the show? “No, it’s really up to producers’ discretion. If someone came to me and said they wanted to perform behind a guitar every week, I would say ‘No.’ I’ve got to be fair and sensible. I told them at the beginning, ‘I don’t want any of this hiding behind a guitar every week.’ Every year is different, sometimes it isn’t an issue. I do believe this year it isn’t an issue. I think the only way I can treat it fairly is to take it on a case-by-case basis.”

Read more:

‘American Idol’ Central

What should Pia sing on ‘DWTS’?

All of EW.com’s episode recaps

Exclusive on-the-scene ‘Idol’ reports