As the debut of this years’ ‘American Idol‘ approaches (January 19th for those of you living under a rock), massive changes to the original format have been revealed! These changes are actually good news, though!
UPDATED SET: The set is undergoing substantial modification.
FASTER ELIMINATION: The elimination process is speeding up considerably. Instead of a three-week top 24 round in which America votes, the judges will narrow down the field to 10 or 12 finalists.
ONLINE VOTING: Despite persistent rumors that would lead us to believe otherwise, there will be no online voting.
NEW LIVING ARRANGEMENT: Finalists will all live in an Idol mansion. The show will have a “Big Brother” aspect to it.
ORIGINAL SONGS: Producer-songwriters will help them with song selection, then arrange and produce the musical accompaniment — for the first time ever, contestants won’t be limited solely to cover songs.
THEME WEEK MAKEOVERS: Theme weeks will also get a makeover. “We’re not going to ask a country singer to sing an R&B song, or an R&B singer to do Led Zeppelin,” Jimmy Iovine explains. “If the theme is ’80s or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, every song will be customized to that contestant.” What’s most important, he adds, is that the song suit the finalist’s voice.
Also, the Idol contestants will not be making music videos (except for maybe those awful Ford ones,) and there will be no appearance by “American Idol all-stars.” Ray Chew, formerly of the “Saturday Night Live” band, will also become the new music director. Also new: there will also be no gender parity.
Explains exec producer Ken Warwick: “If I’ve got six fantastic boys and four average girls, I’m certainly not going to throw out a fantastic boy to put in another average girl, or vice versa.”
And there’s great news for the show’s fans: No more months-long wait for music from their favorite singers – songs will be released as the season progresses. While many ideas were tossed up against the wall, one that was considered and abandoned was having past winners face off against former finalists who may have deserved another chance, such as Fantasia taking on Jennifer Hudson or David Cook taking on Adam Lambert. The idea didn’t get very far since few past winners and finalists were keen on it.
Will you be tuning in?
Click here to see which ‘American Idol’ favorite was married on New Years Day!
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