So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told EW that American Idol “stole” Ellen DeGeneres from his show so he’ll “steal” Paula Abdul as a guest judge in the future. Talking from the red carpet of Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys in Los Angeles, Lythgoe said though he “loved” having DeGeneres on the Fox dance show (“We hope she will still be able to come and help us out from time to time”) Lythgoe said it would be a “great idea” to have Abdul join the SYTYCD team in the near future. “I’d prefer Paula,” he said. “I think it is a great idea to put her on.”

But Lythgoe was quick to add that DeGeneres will be a valued addition to Idol. “What it does is give the public, who are the people who decide in the end who is crowned the victor, a voice on the judges panel and they have never had that before,” the former Idol producer told EW. “They already have industry experts, musicians and producers and songwriters represented and Ellen will be that judge who comes at it from a fan perspective. She loves music and she will be able to speak about what people will like and what would sound good on the radio. And she’s funny. And I also think she is strong enough to keep Simon in his place, which I am always worried about.” —With reporting from Carrie Bell