Nigel Lythgoe [above] is my absolute favorite judge on any of the talent competition TV shows. I don't know his background, but he seems to know what he's talking about on So You Think You Can Dance. Lythgoe produces both that show and American Idol, and seems to know what he's talking about in that role as well.TMZ.com intercepted him yesterday, wondering if the recent, highly-publicized battles between new Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nikki Minaj were genuine or publicity stunts. Lythgoe used [are you ready for this?] common sense to argue that the verbal scuffles were real:

Anyone who's ever done publicity for an event will tell you that it's not helpful to waste it too far in advance.Lythgoe's theory of using it a month in advance seems about right.

Then again, it also means Nigel may have something up his sleeve for about three months from now. Mark your calendars...