American Idol 12 Schedule Update! It’s the Guys vs the Girls!

So, the question I posed in last night’s Idol recap, wondering how the American Idol 12 Hollywood Rounds would be edited, has been answered. It looks like the boys and the girls are going to be separated until the finals begin in March!

Check out the latest press release from Idol

Whether auditioners received a unanimous “yes” from Mariah, Randy, Nicki and Keith or had the judges battling over their fates, it’s a clean slate in Hollywood for the lucky contestants who are one step closer to becoming the next AMERICAN IDOL. For the first time in the “Hollywood Rounds,” it’s guys vs. guys and girls vs. girls, as they compete for a spot in the coveted Top 40 Semifinalists.

The “Hollywood Rounds” will be the toughest audition yet, but for some contestants, it will be a life-changing opportunity; for others, the end of the road. First, they will face the judges and sing a cappella, trusting only in their talent to make it another day. Those that survive will then join forces with one another – trusting in friends and, possibly, foes – for the heart-pounding, sleep-deprived group day. Those who stand out will move on to the solo day, giving the remaining contestants one more chance to impress the judges and make the Top 40.

  • Guys compete on Wednesday, Feb. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). 
  • Girls compete on  Wednesday, Feb. 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and  Thursday, Feb. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT),

After the guys and girls compete in Hollywood, only the Top 40 semifinalists – 20 guys and 20 girls – will remain.

FOX sent out this info on January 8th,  Don’t kill me if Nigel changes his mind. But I suspect the gender split will be kept intact.


  • 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


  • 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

Interviews with all of the contestants are available at

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  • Team Candice Glover

    Im getting excited!!!!!!

  • fantoo1

    Interesting. It will be something different for sure!

  • harvestmoon

    I’ll be interested to see how the ratings for the guys’ episodes compare to those for the girls’.

  • Larc

    Those of us who couldn’t resist the spoilers already know who they are (and the Top 20 girls, too)  ;)

  • Danny Latham

    So, after all of this, we will have our top 10 with no wild cards? Very nice concept. However, the excitement of those who made the top 10 and the tour is gone. That was the excitement of having a top 12-13: to see who goes on tour or who just misses it. 

  • chessguy99

    Ok, lets allow the top guys to establish their fanbase, before we even show a single girl in HW. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an all guy Top 3 this season.

  • buffynut2001

    But how & when do they get from 40 to 20 though? No show where they show who they picked? No green mile?

  • steve2013

    From previous press releases at the end of each of the 2 top 10 guys & female shows the judges will pick 5 to advance and 5 to eliminate.

  • steve2013

    Wait to go nigel pretty much guranteeing another guy win by giving the guys more time to build up a fanbase by putting them on first

  • dabney c

    Right, Danny – I say the same thing. Idol is eliminating 2 points of suspense:
    1. who will be the wildcard picks
    2. who will make the tour
    This is not smart! Since when does Idol take steps to reduce the drama?

    Also, is it me, or is the audition phase (city auditions, Hollywood, Vegas) longer than usual? I’ve never been a huge fan of the Vegas sing-on-the-moat rounds. That set is kind of “Madame Yes” creepy for me (for all you die-hard Flintstones fans). 

    I prefered the Hollywood rooms of doom/triumph, followed by the Green Mile in the empty dance studio. The claustrophobic elevator-cam, and the single wooden execution-style chair in front of the judges was nerve wracking to watch!

  • fantoo1

    They will give the top 40 equal screentime before we get to the top 20.

  • fantoo1

    I’m sure there will be some kind of twist.

  • blackberryharvest

    I personally don’t think showing the guys first or the girls first will really make a difference lol.

  • sdmama

    RIGHT.If girls go first, some people would complain that boys got pimp position. The best thing are supposed to go last. It will not make difference IMHO.
    But if only girls are always up against Big Bang Theory, I might buy into the conspiracy theory. I would have avoided Thursday 8pm ;)

  • chessguy99

    Just realized, the final day of HW for the girls is Valentines Day. They will probably have problem breaking 4 in the demo and barely get over 12 million total. Good work with that one Nigel.

  • Emmuzka

    I remember watching the gender-sectioned episodes in past seasons, and I got to admit that the boy episodes were more enticing to watch. (I never vote btw) 

    I think that the pull of the contestants come from viewers’ 
    Identification and

    I’m a woman and when I don’t feel atracted to, and are unable to identy with the women, the only thing left is appreciation and how far will take take when the boys have atraction card to go with the talent appreciation? It’s only fair that men and women first compete each other, so (at least in theory) it’s about talent until the groups are combined and the men start to blunger the women out with the attraction card. 

  • Kariann Hart

    Well, let’s see if this works in the attempt to get a female winner.

  • KelseyW

    Is Vegas Week still happening? I’m a little confused because I could’ve sworn someone said that it wasn’t. Yay if it is though because I really enjoyed the addition of Vegas Week. Vegas=More performance practice, more getting to know the contestants time, and a pretty amazing set. :)

    Oh, and I hope there is a twist or two coming. It wouldn’t be as suspenseful if a large group of semi-finalists were to be dwindled down to the top ten in one setting. Wouldn’t surprise me if we do end up getting a wild card or two. Going straight from the first live performance rounds of the semis to an “I made the tour!” declaration just doesn’t feel right.

  • Karen C

    The problem with this schedule is that there are only two rounds where we can be sure that we are seeing everyone individually.  If someone isn’t featured during auditions and Hollywood week that could really hurt them.  

    I also think there should be more voting rounds before the top 10, so that that they can show they are consistant. THey have to have a few more performances before getting into the top 10 that way.  I also think the more voting rounds there are the more the fanbases begin to build up. 

    I do realize they are probably doing this so the producers will have more control of who gets into the top 10.   However, it also cuts down the chances of a contestant really getting a buzz around them early in the competition because there won’t be as many voting rounds.  I keep thinking of how many former contestants that did well during the competition and afterwards really defined themselves and began to get a fanbase during the longer semifinals.

  • jpfan2

    So no audience voting until March 7. I think that’s kind of a mistake. The only way t would work is if the judges actually disagree about the contestants. If they do that unanimous voting thing it’ll be a big zzzzz.

    I have a funny feeling they’ll end up with a boring female winner like Melanie A.

  • John M

     The problem with this schedule is that there are only two rounds where we can be sure that we are seeing everyone individually.  

    That is one more round then people got in seasons 1,2,3,8,10, and 11……
    The semifinal format in 4,5,6,7, and 9 was too long. Three weeks was boring because by the third week we knew who the fodder was. Some complained about one week, some complained about three, so now we can try two.

  • Ria

    The goal should be to have a Top 10 full of contestants that have not already peaked in the competition. I see a couple issues with what seems to be the plan:
    1. It sounds like the Top 40 will be split into groups of 10 and out of each group 5 will get the boot.  In the past when they’ve done something like this there are strong groups and weak groups. So some good contestants get cut and some weak contestants catch a break. 
    2. A lot of great contestants fly under the radar for a while.  In some cases the producers just do not show much of them so they do not build an early fan base.  In some cases I think the contestants themselves need to get used to the stage and the whole crazy world they have entered and maybe also need to start getting feedback from people other than the judges and producers in order to feel more comfortable taking risks. The more voting rounds before Top 10, the more chances we have to see which contestants have more than 1 or 2 great performances to give.  It sounds like there are some contestants we might only see perform twice before Top 10.  Once when Top 40 gets cut to Top 20 by the judges and then once when the Top 10 in a gender gets cut to Top 5 by the voters.

  • girlygirltoo

    I don’t think seeing the guys this week and the girls next week gives the guys any advantage. Why wouldn’t it be the other way around — that people will forget about them since after Feb. 7 the guys won’t be shown again until Feb. 20.

    It’s an interesting twist, although it does take away a lot of the suspense that the green mile and wild card brought. 

    But as long as the Top 10 is strong, interesting and diverse, it’s all good :)

  • hcpoirot

    We will (probably) get 2 wild card. One boy and one girl.