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Nigel Lythgoe says he found fame but lost a wife.

The US version of So You Think You Can Dance has hit our screens again on Channel Ten. Their series is as usual a cracker, with their strength being the high quality of their judges who manage to be funny, supportive without being patronising. Something the Australian version has yet to master.

Nigel Lythgoe the supposed ‘nasty’ judge in an interview in the SMH said that success has come at a price. “Since I’ve been [in America] I’ve had a heart attack, I’ve lost the back of my heart, I’ve had peritonitis, I’ve lost 15 feet of my intestine, my marriage has broken up and I’ve lost my wife,” he says. ” And the gag now is, I miss my intestine.” He says he is on good terms with his estranged wife Bonnie and thinks she did an excellent job as a judge on the Australia version of So You Think You Can Dance.

But Lythgoe has no regrets “If anyone had said to me, ‘If you go to America this is going to happen’ I would still have come. I would still have gone through everything. I have been very, very lucky. I could be in corporate hell at ITV.”

He enjoys all stages of judging but particularly likes the cruelty of auditions. “That’s because I know how hard it is to be successful and these people just think they can walk in and say , ‘Give me my million dollars.'”

“There’s a whole thing nowadays of just being entitled. I think we’ve forgotten about stars now:we create celebrity. I’m to blame, too, for doing that. But with the web nowadays anybody can be a celebrity: you’ve just got to record yourself and put yourself on there.”

This season, the SYTYCD judges are being more “creative and constructive” , he says , pointing out contestants’ technical mistakes, especially in later rounds. “They’re in our top 20 because we believe they’re going to be really good, they’re going to improve and we’re there to improve them as well.”

Finally Nigel is choreographing a routine for the show (article did not say whether it was the group routine) but it will have to be good considering the criticism he has meted out on choreographers in the past.