Idol Producer Denies Lopez ‘diva’ Reports

click image to enlarge
August 14, 2010 | 9:40am EST

The executive producer of American Idol has denied reports Jennifer Lopez is out of the running for a judging job on the hit U.S. talent show because of her diva demands – insisting the star is “a wonderful woman”.

Following the announcement that Ellen DeGeneres has stepped down from the panel after just a year on the series, and the planned departure of Simon Cowell, Idol bosses are eager to sign up two big names to boost the show’s appeal.

Lopez and Steven Tyler were in the running as the favourites to take a seat at the judging panel, but reports suggested Lopez had been pulled from the possible replacements due to her escalating demands.

But executive producer Nigel Lythgoe hints the Jenny From The Block hitmaker still has a chance of landing the role and admits he has never witnessed her demanding ways.

He tells Extra, “These people don’t know Jennifer Lopez. She’s a wonderful woman. I’ve never seen her be a diva in her life!”

And Lythgoe is adamant former judge Paula Abdul is definitely not returning, insisting he wants attention to focus on the new talent and not the judging panel.

He adds, “Paula is under contract to another company so I don’t think that she enters the frame on this occasion.

“As far as I’m concerned, I would like the attention to go on the kids, because it’s about the talent that comes on this show and sings.”