American Idol 12 Official Schedule – Live Voting Begins March 5

Check out the American Idol 12 schedule through to the Top 10 finals.  There were rumors that viewer voting would not begin until the Top 10, but it looks like the semi finals are being split into two parts, with The Top 40 being split into Boy/Girl rounds. The judges will whittle the group down to 20. Live voting begins at the Top 20 in a special 3 night event. Girls on Tuesday, Boys on Wednesday. The Top 10 will be announced on March 7.

Something tells me there will be more twists to come. Maybe the addition of some wildcards by the judges to make it a Top 12 or 13.

Read the press release below.

“AMERICAN IDOL” DEBUTS WITH TWO-NIGHT PREMIERE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, AND THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, ON FOX

 Hollywood Rounds Begin Wednesday, February 6; Top 40 Announced on Thursday, February 14

All-New Semifinalist Rounds in Las Vegas Begin Wednesday, February 20, and Conclude with Special Three-Night IDOL Event

Tuesday, March 5, Wednesday, March 6 and  Thursday, March 7, When Top 10 Finalists are Announced

Hosted by the inimitable Ryan Seacrest, AMERICAN IDOL Season 12 features a dynamic new judging panel including Randy Jackson, a Grammy Award-winning producer whose expertise and beloved persona have been instrumental in discovering IDOL talent from the beginning; global superstar and the best-selling female recording artist of all time Mariah Carey; quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon Nicki Minaj; and Keith Urban, a four-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 15 million albums. Seacrest and the judges will travel to Charlotte, Chicago, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City and San Antonio to find the next superstar who will join the ranks of IDOL alumni Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.

AUDITIONS

The incredible journey begins with a two-night event showcasing the nation’s best talent from the New York auditions on Wednesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and the Chicago auditions Thursday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Auditions continue for two more weeks on Wednesday, Jan. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, Jan. 30 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS

The contestants who impress the judges will head to “Hollywood” and be put to the ultimate stage test during the “Hollywood Rounds,” airing Wednesday, Feb. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, Feb. 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). At the end of the final “Hollywood Round,” on Thursday, Feb. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), only the Top 40 contestants – 20 males and 20 females – will remain.

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE ONE: LAS VEGAS

In a new twist, the competition then moves to Las Vegas, where the Top 40 semifinalists will be split into males and females. Starting Wednesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing Thursday, Feb. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Wednesday, Feb. 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), 10 semifinalists will perform each night – males on Wednesday, females on Thursday – and the judges will be faced with the tough decision of choosing which five will stay each night and which five will be sent home. At the end of the first stage of the semifinals, only 20 contestants will remain.

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE TWO: AMERICA VOTES
All LIVE episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.)

It’s up to viewers to vote for who will advance to the Top 10 and who will go home, during a special three-night AMERICAN IDOL event. In the season’s first live show, airing on a special night, Tuesday, March 5 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining male semifinalists will perform LIVE from Las Vegas for America’s vote. On Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining female semifinalists will perform LIVE. On Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 PM (ET live/PT tape-delayed), America’s vote and the AMERICAN IDOL Top 10 finalists will be revealed in the first elimination show LIVE from Los Angeles.

FINALIST PERFORMANCE ROUNDS

The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists perform for the first time LIVE on the IDOL stage Wednesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed). One finalist’s journey will end as America’s vote is revealed on Thursday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed).

AUDITIONS

Wednesday, Jan. 16                           Season Premiere, Part 1 – New York Auditions
Thursday, Jan. 17                               Season Premiere, Part 2 – Chicago Auditions
Wednesday, Jan. 23                           Audition Episode
Thursday, Jan. 24                               Audition Episode
Wednesday, Jan. 30                           Audition Episode
Thursday, Jan. 31                               Audition Episode

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS

Wednesday, Feb. 6                             Hollywood Round, Part 1
Thursday, Feb. 7                                 Hollywood Round, Part 2
Wednesday, Feb. 13                           Hollywood Round, Part 3
Thursday, Feb. 14                               Hollywood Round, Part 4 – Top 40 Revealed

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE ONE: LAS VEGAS

Wednesday, Feb. 20                          First Group of 10 Male Singers Perform
Thursday, Feb. 21                              First Group of 10 Female Singers Perform
Wednesday, Feb. 27                          Second Group of 10 Male Singers Perform
Thursday, Feb. 28                              Second Group of 10 Female Singers Perform

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE TWO: AMERICA VOTES

Tuesday, March 5                              Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform LIVE
Wednesday, March 6                         Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform LIVE
Thursday, March 7                             LIVE Results Show; Top 10 Finalists Revealed

FINALIST ROUNDS

Wednesday, March 13                       Top 10 LIVE Performance Show
Thursday, March 14                           LIVE Results Show; One Finalist Sent Home

  • fantoo1

    Interesting that they are going to use the top 40 for semi-finals. It would be nice if the audience could vote on that round also.

  • http://twitter.com/happylittlefish Amy Beth

    Love that Seacrest is “inimitable”!

    So, 3 weeks of auditions, 2 weeks of Hollywood, 2 weeks of Vegas and 1 week of live semis.

    If they wanted to make a Top 12, are there enough weeks between 3/13 and 3/14 and the traditional finale at the end of sweeps?

  • bannanafish

      “Something tells me there will be more twists to come. Maybe the addition of some wildcards by the judges to make it a Top 12 or 13.” 
    They do need at least 2 more weeks to take the show up to the end of May sweeps (May 22nd). That means Top 12 or else a Top 13 with 2 going home the 1st week.
    I like that this schedule makes it seem like we will get to know all of the contestants before the first live show. I always feel bad that some of the semi-finalists get their home package/audition/Hollywood/group/solo/Vegas performances aired and some we just know only as a name. 

  • http://twitter.com/desireechick Kesia Monteith

    Couldn’t they cut back on the audition weeks to just two instead? Especially since there will be two-night premiere, as both nights are a freaking 2 hours!?
     

  • http://twitter.com/bignliddle BigNLiddle

    Agreed, especially since Idol auditions (or any music reality singing show) typically get old after the first hour…

  • b_james

    I would much rather have one week of Vegas and two weeks of viewer voting live shows, but oh well.  Bring it on! 

  • http://twitter.com/dam744 Damien Roberts

    I think I’ll take the three weeks of auditions as I’m pretty sure that is a typically short audition period. Happy to see that Hollywood Week has thus been extended. I do think that the top 10 will most likely consist of two wild cards picked by the judges.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    So … we’re gonna drop from 20 people to 10 in one week? Not sure I like that. It usually means “diamonds in the rough” don’t make it through to the top 10 in favor of all the cute kids and sometimes even an oddball or two. It’s only when we have a few weeks of attrition that contestants who aren’t the cutest on the planet, but have real talent, manage to gain a fanbase over those weeks that helps them through.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6I5UHCVHYO4NDWVALY2543MYNA Sean

    Agreeing with those who said they will be wild card picks. Fox won’t let their biggest show end early during May sweeps. 

  • http://twitter.com/avrohama aj rabin

    As of late the producers are trying to control the outcomes as much as possible and less to the voting public. Seasons 4-7 had no wild card or judges save and those seasons were arguably the best seasons all based on Americas votes. Sure some mistakes were made (Michael johns going home too early being the biggest) but overall those seasons rocked.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6I5UHCVHYO4NDWVALY2543MYNA Sean

    Did anyone else notice they didn’t say whether the March 7 episode would be one hour or two?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IDXVM7NCMXZVHX4M2RFBYOTYDA Robert

    I agree with everyone saying there is going to be some sort of wildcard picks, I don’t see the show ending the 2nd week of May.

  • chillj

    Yeah, I usually skip the auditions and they are usually way too long.  This looks okay, compressed a little?

  • Karen C

    It sounds like they cut down on auditions but are going to show more of Hollywood Week, which I think is a good idea. I still don’t like when they go from top 20 or 24 to 10 or 12 after the semifinals, I liked it better when there were more voting rounds in the semifinals. It gives the contestants a chance to grow more before they become finalists.

  • chessguy99

    I like this scheduling. It looks to have a good flow, not spending to long on any aspect of the season.  Looks like they are eliminating “The Chair”, unless they incorporate it into the two week taped semi-final round. One thing I really like is each contestant that makes the public vote will have at least one full performance seen before the live shows. 

    One interesting aspect will be how they’ll divide up the Top 40. Will there be obvious either/or situations in the groupings. Or, will similar types of singers get split up to separate nights. How well distributed will the talent be? Will there be a situation where the last one cut one week, would have easily been top 5 the next? 

  • Larc

    I ran some numbers to compare scheduling for S12 with S11. More time is being spent leading up to finals this year, mainly due to more 2 hour shows.

    Auditions: 10 hours this year and 8 hours in S11
    Hollywood: 6 hours this year and 4 hours in S11
    Las Vegas: 12 hours this year and 5 hours (including Final Judgment) in S11
    Los Angeles: 1 or 2 hours this year and 6 hours in S11

    That comes to a total of 29 or 30 hours this year and 23 hours in S11.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H3DCZQHD3T6WYVW2XXC6C3ZPMU Tyson

    Tell a prospective boss at an interview you need to grow into the job.  Tell a first date you’ll need several more dates to grow into things.  See how well that works for you.

    Singers that need growing should be doing it away from the Idol bubble.  Perform at small venues when 10 people are watching, not 10 million people.  I don’t want to see rough “carbon.”  I want polished “diamonds.”

  • http://twitter.com/Universian8X Anna Bones Clarkwood

    MJ &/or TIP,

    When you get info on Top 40 to Top 20 can you please try and also get info on who was in what group of 10? That is if they truly did it by groups of 10. 

    This way we can see if by tv editing magic TPTB just mixed & matched which we the tv viewer see in each group of 10.

    I highly doubt that TPTB will give up control & have either told before hand to the judges which 5 from each group to “save” or will just edit the heck out of it to get The 10 of each gender they want. 

    Sure, it’s good tv to eliminate a surprise really good performance aka not one of the 10 of each gender preselected. So, I do expect we will get a couple of those over fodder when the viewers go from 20 to 10 aka 10 to 5 each gender.

    I also agree they are currently going to be short by 2 weeks. This is FOX’s Flagship Show aka what pumps up the ratings like SNF/TV for NBC. I can’t fathom them ending it early. However, there is no mention of WC Round (Judges or Viewers) & they specifically say only 1 contestant goes home the first week. They do however only say finalists not Top 10 for the “Finalist Performance Rounds” paragraph. So, that’s probably their way of revealing a WC/Judges to make a Top 12. 

    Did anyone else catch that the Semifinal Round (20-10?) will be LIVE from VEGAS? Must be some booking issues b/c that weeks results show is back to L.A.

    Larc, oh great, 6 or 7 more hours mostly of drama not singing & all of the taped variety. The 40-20 which should be able to show all 40 full song each, Voice was able to, is a very positive sign b/c that should allow 2 instead of 1 and done for some contestants, true the first is taped & up to 3 weeks & among 50% eliminated but it helps. 

    Can someone please give me, a watcher of every minute of every episode from s1 ep1, permission to wait until the finals & then only go to youtube to catch up on all of only their singing? I’m already seriously thinking about doing that for TV & XF, which even though I’ve watched all their minutes as well, they have yet to produce anyone that I want to take the huge effort to track album/music video releases. The only real thing stopping me is judging dynamic changes with each new cast & let’s face it, I’m addicted to the silly notion that I have power/pride to say I’ve watched every minute.

  • Karen C

    Contestants do need a little time to see what would work best for them on TV, the longer semifinals gives them a chance.   It also allows for more song choices, and maybe for the viewers to see them more than once before getting into the finals.

    Some of the most defining performances have been during semifinals.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Singers that need growing should be doing it away from the Idol bubble.
     Perform at small venues when 10 people are watching, not 10 million
    people.  I don’t want to see rough “carbon.”  I want polished
    “diamonds.”

    It’s about the audience having a chance to see their talent in comparison to the rest of the group. If we have a big cut all at once, mark my words, you’re going to lose some really good people who aren’t the cutest or the most outlandish. Some of our best people are “slow growers.” Not slow growers in terms of their talent or ability to sing in front of millions of people, but slow growers in terms of the audience’s ability to recognize the talent. Why do cute girls or handsomer boys initially win out over the less cute — even though they may not sing better? How do people like Sanjaya advance? If you have a slower attrition, then these more talented people get more opportunities to win over the public to that talent. Furthermore, it helps to keep people who have the bad luck to get a mismatched song one week. Sometimes you get stuck with a clunker in comparison to other people (sometimes through no fault of your own) and it doesn’t highlight your talents or fit you as well. A slower elimination schedule gives more people a chance to correct that.

  • http://twitter.com/Universian8X Anna Bones Clarkwood

    Tyson,

    1. How do ppl get a job if they’ve never worked b4 with that attitude from employers? That’s a lot of the reason behind internships (besides free & easy to fire/blame labor). However, in retail aka McDonalds/Walmart they better hire someone like me even though I’ve only had a 600 subscriber Paper Route for like 7 years/365 days a year. I’m extremely reliable, hardworking, honest, healthy etc but no retail experience & I’m not a good communicator until I get to know you & then I’ve never been able to be a part of the conversation as I can’t come up with things to say fast enough. Another plus that I have is no one tying me down to a schedule or that will get sick/die that I will have to take off from work to go take care of. So, my job interview while I will look presentable & attempt to answer anything they ask from the top of my head, if there is too many applicants with actual retail experience, connections (friend/family), good interviewer, I will be screwed.  Even though I’m sure I’ll be one of the best employees given a bit of training (decent fast learner if taught properly aka not so fast as if it’s just a refresh course) really quick. Meaning that if number of hours is allowed to be given to anyone, I will be someone that they will want to give the max they possibly can to pretty quickly.

    2. When does dating ever equate to only 1 date? The whole thing takes time. It’s not 1 date & then marriage for life. In fact, a bad first date doesn’t have to stop a 2nd date from occurring. Kind/Honest ppl understand that most of us struggle in the dating world and which could lead to a bad first date/impression.

    3. As far as auditions goes, this isn’t in front of a Studio Exec in some Office Building. This TV thing for TPTB is like 10 different auditions from Cattle Call to LIVE. The TV audience doesn’t see all of them. We also aren’t good enough to sign Lady Gaga/Katy Perry or heck Bruno Mars/Michele Buble after just 1 audition. Also, we as a whole, don’t “buy” on one radio/music video listen either. 

    So, while I agree, I don’t want “carbon” & I want a much more “diamond” performer who decides to get signed via a Singing Competition Show vs Closed Door Radio Executive. I want them to take this very seriously by laying the ground work for at least a couple years & when they are @ least 18-19, b/c there isn’t enough cleared young kids songs. I want them to perform & get comfortable on stage even move around & work the crowd, even get friends to tape them so they can play to us @ home anywhere & everywhere. I also want them to study the cleared song lists (mostly the same each year) & really pick songs, from lots of themes, that really works with their voice & how they want to showcase themselves aka songs that they’d release for their first album. Really get 100 or more songs in the repertoire not just 2 or 3 and then have to actually learn on the go all season long which makes it hard to really make it your own & perform. B/c of so many themes & other contestants choosing your song 1st your repertoire needs to be huge. Another bonus is even if TPTB see what you are doing & force songs on you, with all that work you will have such a handle on your voice etc that learning a new song that is “Happy Feet” type BUS, you will still have a great chance at surviving.

    So, true you and I don’t want those that need to grow. I like those that start of real good & then become great. I say do allow for plenty of time for them to grow to the viewers esp once it’s smaller numbers that we can keep track of. 

  • elliegrll

    The multi week semi final rounds are fairer, and may result in casting better contestants, but I think that they just dragged during the last few seasons that they were used.  For some reason they became incredibly boring, especially during season 9.

  • Incipit

    I think they all need a minute to find their footing on the stage and within the show at the beginning, so I’ve never been pleased with the rapid elimination seasons…but even with a slower elimination schedule…I’m interested in people who know who they are as artists, and can make me know that what they are singing is not just lyrics. That doesn’t seem too much to ask, if the show wants the audience to care about the performers, give them candidates who cared enough to learn how to perform.

    Yet it seems to be the problem I always have with some of the contestants chosen, and the fastest way to lose my attention is to pick a string of very young people without a clue what they are singing, or who they are.

    It’s not a new thing, even Katherine McPhee talked about her experience on Idol in a post yesterday - 

    On her Idol experience, Katharine said, “I really did not know myself when I was on that show, as a musician, and that was a big challenge for me coming off the show, because I kind of wanted to be an actress … I didn’t realize I was supposed to have an identity as a musician [after I left] … If you’re not ready to do that, you should probably try to figure out who you are [before auditioning].” 

    Yes, there’s a thought, “…you should probably try to figure out who you are [before auditioning].”

  • Larc

    If we have a big cut all at once, mark my words, you’re going to lose
    some really good people who aren’t the cutest or the most outlandish.

    That happens anytime people get weeded out to come up with a set number.  Having an equal number of girls and boys will do the same thing.  Some of the girls who are cut may be better than some of the boys who are kept or vice versa.

  • Tess

    American Idol, The Voice, and even X-Factor are not sing in the shower amateur competitions that pick out some obscure wannabe and catapult them into stardom I don’t believe.  A singing voice, just like any other instrument, has to be trained and practiced and recital(ed) in order for it to work properly and produce something other than carbon copies of what someone hears on the radio.  This may not be what many envision these shows as, but I think it is the reality.

    These “kids” have to have something innate in them besides just the ability to hit a note or remember words, and it doesn’t just suddenly appear when they audition for these shows.  All of those who have been able to sustain a career post the TV year and the first cycle post Idol have something that allows them to “compete” with other professional singers and they had if from day one.  Over 11 seasons I have been able to identify the top 10 pretty accurately from the time they audition or walk out onto the big stage for the first time…and the ones who impressed me the most early on in the process are the ones who are still do the best work these many years later.

    Idol could drag out the elimination process for weeks and weeks and try to give a jolt to some “slow starters” but I believe the final result would have stood pretty darn constant.  No matter how many chances you give someone a sows ear is just a sows ear and doesn’t usually turn into a silk purse in my opinion.

  • Tess

    American Idol, The Voice, and even X-Factor are not sing in the shower amateur competitions that pick out some obscure wannabe and catapult them into stardom I don’t believe.  A singing voice, just like any other instrument, has to be trained and practiced and recital(ed) in order for it to work properly and produce something other than carbon copies of what someone hears on the radio.  This may not be what many envision these shows as, but I think it is the reality.

    These “kids” have to have something innate in them besides just the ability to hit a note or remember words, and it doesn’t just suddenly appear when they audition for these shows.  All of those who have been able to sustain a career post the TV year and the first cycle post Idol have something that allows them to “compete” with other professional singers and they had if from day one.  Over 11 seasons I have been able to identify the top 10 pretty accurately from the time they audition or walk out onto the big stage for the first time…and the ones who impressed me the most early on in the process are the ones who are still do the best work these many years later.

    Idol could drag out the elimination process for weeks and weeks and try to give a jolt to some “slow starters” but I believe the final result would have stood pretty darn constant.  No matter how many chances you give someone a sows ear is just a sows ear and doesn’t usually turn into a silk purse in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/RonnieDRocks Ronnie D

    I’m all argued out lol. I just know I am looking forward to this season and hope they find some great talent! Hopefully it doesn’t turn into a snooze fest like the past 2 seasons were (IMO). 

  • Karen C

    Yes they do need to start with talent and some experience , but even the most experienced who did well in he competition said they had something to learn when they got on the show, mainly about playing to a tv audience. But you’re right to say they probably would have been ahead anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/dam744 Damien Roberts

    Seems like it, but not entirely sure.