Persistent reports have hinted at a feud between new signings Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, though the pair joked recently that they resolved their differences by watching a sex tape together.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Lythgoe admitted that he does not think the rumours have helped American Idol.
"I don't think it's been a bonus in any way, shape or form, to be frank," he said. "It's not publicity that I welcomed. I've said all the way since we began this show - it's about the contestants.
"The judges are always going to be interesting because they are who they are, but the show is about the contestants. I don't really want to know that there's been a huge blow up between [the judges] or anything like that, have it all taken out of proportion of what actually goes on during the long days that we do and the amount of kids that came along and the wonderfully talented ones that came along."
Adding that he is "not into that sort of publicity", Lythgoe continued: "What I do think we've got though is going to, I guess, get people to watch to see if they blow up on television, so everybody tells me I should be grateful for that. I would much prefer that they watched because these judges are excellent."
Lythgoe claimed that Minaj is "one of the best judges" he's ever worked with, and described her fellow new coach Keith Urban as "such a lovely man".
"He is the scratching post between Mariah and Nicki," he joked. "He sometimes looks like he's watching a tennis match, with his head bobbing between the two girls, but when it's his turn to speak he gives his mind and he won't put up with anybody else knocking a kid down.
"He's had rows with Mariah, Randy [Jackskon] and Nicki - a big one with Nicki, in truth. So they're very passionate. He's passionate."
Lythgoe added that the judges are all looking for different things from the contestants, saying: "They know they've got a big job on their hands because Jennifer [Lopez], Steven [Tyler] and Randy did very well with Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.
"So they also have got to live up to that and they're very competitive people. These are human beings that have experienced an incredible success in their own lives - they don't want to be put down in any way, shape or form, so they're going for the best they can get."
The new season of American Idol starts with a two-night premiere next Wednesday and Thursday (January 16 and 17) on Fox. UK viewers will be able to watch the new season on 5* when the first episode debuts at 8pm on Thursday, January 17.