06/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"American Idol" Producer: We Didn't Want Bush On "Idol Gives Back"

OK! Magazine talked to "American Idol" mastermind Nigel Lythgoe. Buried in a piece about how this season's winner David Cook needs more personality was a nugget about President Bush. Idol didn't want him.

Nigel, 58, also spilled that during the planning for the second annual Idol Gives Back fundraising special, which aired in April, America's biggest TV show had a spat with no less a power than the White House!

He said that the show's producers were so disappointed with President Bush's efforts to combat the very poverty that the show was trying to relieve that they were embarrassed to have him on their TV show.

But Nigel said that Idol relented under pressure from the Pres's people, and allowed him to speak during the star-studded broadcast.

"The President is always saying 'I want to be on [Gives Back]," said the Brit.

"We didn't ask the President this year to say anything because we are all a bit embarrassed about him, and the office insisted that, because the [primary] candidates were on it, the President would like to come on and say 'thank you.'"

So far Nigel says, Idol Gives Back, has raised some $142million for projects in the US and Africa.