Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez arrives at a party in...

Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez arrives at a party in West Hollywood.(Feb. 26, 2012) Credit: AP

BEVERLY HILLS -- Nigel Lythgoe was asked about his future on "American Idol" during the panel session on "So You Think You Can Dance"  and his comments were pointedly interesting, notably that Jennifer Lopez didn't exactly close the door on returning to "Idol."

Really? Seriously? No kidding?

No kidding.

Would he address his future on "Idol" (I asked him). No, he said, I can't comment on that. But then, asked about his comments on Ryan Seacrest's show a couple weeks ago -- not happy about the J.Lo departure, etc. -- he elaborated that he thought it "interesting" that Lopez had noted that she was 99 percent certain she was not returning, which left the door open "one percent.'

Skip the first grade math. What he was saying was this: She might be back. What is most intriguing to me, is this possibility: Is he holding Fox's feet to the fire about getting her back on the panel as a condition of getting him to sign on again as producer?  (You may ask -- does Fox even want him back, considering the fact that numbers tailed off so dramatically last year? I would say, absolutely. I'm sure they do.)

My other hunch: Fox is probably not giving her the money she wants, and Nigel is quite possibly saying, "Give it to her."

Who knows. This is show biz, where the truth is hidden away in bank vaults.

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