Lythgoe told TV Guide Network's Hollywood 411 that he's mulling a change to the voting structure in the wake of Toscano's surprise exit and Casey Abrams' near-ouster two weeks ago. "What maybe we should talk about for next season is, should we go to So You Think You Can Dance -style of voting so that America votes for the bottom three and then the judges decide who goes home," Lythgoe said Friday at the So You Think You Can Dance auditions in Las Vegas.
He implied the system might be in need of fine-tuning either way: "Last night I was so upset and when I got the votes. I thought, 'This is so wrong.' But looking at it logically now, if we are going to ask people to vote and not have the judges in the way of it, that's what people voted for and it's unfair to try to do anything about it. That's America's vote."
However, Lythgoe was also quick to note to Yahoo! Music that Toscano, 22, was not quite the formidable a competitor fans may have thought she was following her breakthrough performance of The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" during the semi-finals. "I know the [voting] results, so I know she was never a frontrunner," he told the site. "The fact of the matter is, it appears that Pia didn't connect with the audience the way we maybe think she did."
With seven weeks to go until the Season 10 winner is crowned and only two — yes, two — females left in the competition, Toscano's exit has prompted many to speculate that it's no longer possible for a woman to win Idol. And lest we forget, Toscano's jaw-dropping axing is hardly the first surprise vote in the show's history. She follows in the footsteps of Season 3's Jennifer Hudson and Season 5's Chris Daughty, to name the big ones
At the same time, the current judges table would have to toughen up a lot more if they were to decide who would go home every week. While the new Randy-Steven-Jennifer mix has been praised for their chemistry, they have been less than forthcoming with constructive criticism for the finalists in recent weeks. If Lopez and Tyler currently have trouble breaking down a two-minute performance, how could they crush someone's dreams and send them on their way? (Case in point: Lopez's tears at the news of Pia's exit. "I'm shocked. I'm angry. I don't even know what to say," she told Ryan Seacrest.
In the meantime, Lythgoe said there's a lot of heartbreak ahead for Idol fans no matter what happens.
"This season I think we just have to face the fact that we've got a lot of great singers," he said. "Especially when we've got 55 million votes coming in there are going to be millions of people that are going to be upset when their favorite leaves the program."