American Idol XIII Enters Rush Week With One Twist After Another! (DETAILS)

Here’s what you can expect this week and next on American Idol XIII.

On Thursday (Yes THIS Thursday), fans can vote between the 15th and 16th boy. The winner of the vote will complete the Top 30.

This twist has already been spoiled. If you want to discuss it in detail (i.e the boys who will face off against each other), please take to the spoiler post pinned above. Thanks!

Also, during Rush Week, which begins next week,  a brand new set will be revealed as the Top 30 take the stage to compete for a spot in the Top 10.

The Top 15 girls perform on Tuesday February, 18 and the Top 15 boys on Thursday February 19. Except–uh oh.  Not all of the Top 30 will perform!  The judges will choose whom they think are worthy for a shot at the top 10. Some contestants will leave Rush Week without singing even a note.  ETA: This is similar to a Season 3 twist, during the Wild Card round, when some contestants who didn’t make it through the semi-final rounds were brought back for another shot. Only–not all of them got to sing. There was footage of the judges “mentoring” the singers during the week. Based on their experiences, some of the singers were cut before they had a chance to compete for a spot.  It was very controversial. There was one contestant in particular–a red headed gal who already amassed a fanbase–who was unceremoniously cut and no one understood why. There were lots of pissed off fans. The following year, the semi’s were completely revamped to the Top 24 system.

Definitely these twists are designed for maximum outrage and water cooler/twitter talk.

In house mentor, Randy Jackson, makes his first appearance during Rush Week (With a little help from Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, who aided the mentoring sessions with the contestants).

The Supervote returns, and text messaging appears to be open to ALL with a cell phone and text messaging plan, regardless of carrier! ALSO VOTES WILL BE LIMITED. Yep. Voting is limited ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS. There are details in the press release below, but basically, the limit is 50 votes per land line, cell phone (50 each for dial and text) and all Supervote platforms. The Supervote expands a little to allow 50 votes for EACH contestant.

So, if the cute guy with the guitar wins, you’ll have to find another thing to blame it on. Heh.  Actually, I don’t mind that votes are limited.  It does level the playing field, somewhat, between the invested and not-so-invested.  But personally, I don’t think it’s going to make an impact on in any way, except for limiting cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.   I don’t believe limiting votes will have an affect on what type of singer wins. As the decision to limit votes came in the wake of parting ways with AT&T, I have to wonder if they were the stumbling block all along.

Now, Idol needs to allow their iTunes performances to chart, and we’ll be all set!

Check out the official press release below

NEXT WEEK IS “RUSH WEEK,” AS RANDY JACKSON RETURNS TO LEAD INTENSE WORKSHOPS ON “AMERICAN IDOL XIII”

“Hollywood” Round Continues Wednesday, February 12; Semi-Finalists Revealed and America to Vote on Final Contestant to Join Top 30  Thursday, February 13

Award Winner Louis J. Horvitz to Direct LIVE Shows,

New Set by Award-Winning Production Designer Baz Halpin to Be Unveiled During “Rush Week”

Top Girls Perform on Tuesday, February 18; Top Guys Perform on Wednesday, February 19;

Wild Card Round and Top 13 Finalists Chosen, Thursday, February 20, on FOX

With the “Hollywood” round ending this week on AMERICAN IDOL XIII, fans can expect even more surprises, as the show prepares for “Rush Week” and the first live shows of the season. On Wednesday, Feb. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the “Hollywood” round continues, followed by its conclusion on Thursday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), when the top semi-finalists – 15 girls and 16 guys – are revealed. However, the last two guys chosen will still be in jeopardy with their IDOL fates left in the hands of viewers. After this Thursday’s show, fans will get the chance to vote via toll-free calls, text, online and the AMERICAN IDOL App, for which guy they want to make it to the Top 30 semi-finalists.

Next week, AMERICAN IDOL XIII’s “Rush Week” will be LIVE for two nights of performances and the season’s first results show. In a new twist, not all 30 singers will get to perform, as the judges – Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. – will choose only whom they think are worthy of America’s vote, leaving some packing their bags before they get a chance to sing. On Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), Randy Jackson returns as in-house mentor, and the Top 15 girls will take the brand-new stage designed by acclaimed designer Baz Halpin (Britney Spears’ Piece of Me, Pink: Funhouse Tour). On Wednesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the Top 15 guys do the same.

Then, on the first results show of the season, Thursday, Feb. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 10 finalists chosen by America – five girls and five guys – will be revealed, followed by the judges’ wild card picks to round out the Top 13 finalists.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday night, the voting lines will open immediately after each LIVE show and fans will be able to cast their votes for their favorite contestants.  Viewers will be able to SuperVote™ – cast multiple votes at one time – via any of these AMERICAN IDOL VOTE destinations: americanidol.com, the AMERICAN IDOL App (data and message rates may apply) and Facebook. To SuperVote, fans can submit up to 50 votes per contestant (across all SuperVote destinations) and submit them all at once. [Only fans with a registered Facebook account in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be able to cast their vote(s) online.]

In addition to SuperVote™ voting, fans will be able to vote during the voting window via toll-free phone lines, as well as text-messaging across all wireless carriers (message and data rates may apply). At the end of each performance show, the phone lines will open for at least two hours and AMERICAN IDOL XIII viewers will be able to vote for their favorite contestant(s) via the toll-free telephone numbers (1-855-4-IDOL-01, -02, etc.). Wireless customers can use their cell phones to vote by sending a text with the keyword number that corresponds with the contestant of their choice to the five-digit short code, 83676 (e.g. text the number 1 to 83676 to vote for contestant 1). Fans can submit up to 50 votes per contestant per originating phone number for toll-free and 50 votes per contestant per originating phone number for text messaging.

  • Mateja Praznik

    So, they will send some semifinalists home without singing for America?

    WTF. What a dumb twist. I mean, REALLY? What’s the point?!

  • Decan

    Sounds like what The X Factor did when sending home auditionees before the 4 chair challenge.

  • Aaron Krandel

    This makes it even more exciting, but so cruel at the same time :(

  • steve2013

    what is the point in this ????

  • Decan

    I’m guessing it will be 3 boys and 3 girls sent home, leaving us with a top 24.

  • Amy Beth

    All season they’ve been saying how tough the cuts are because everyone is so talented. But now they’re saying that not all of the Top 30 are worthy of semi-finalist status?

    Doesn’t compute.

  • Decan

    They don’t have 15 phone numbers for voting, so I figured there would be one more cut.

  • Amy Beth

    But based on what? Unless they sing again, it seems like the judges’ ( or producers’) whim.

  • Decan

    This also sounds similar to S2 when they cut some wild card people before they even got to sing.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Well not really. 4 chair challenge was a pre-live shows round. Idol’s TOP 30 are supposedly semifinalists, we thought they were chosen to perform in the semifinals for America’s votes. I wouldn’t say anything if this was still Hollywood week – TPTB can cut down the numbers however they want before the semifinalists are chosen.

    I mean, why didn’t they just pick TOP 24 or 20 semifinalists as usual at the end of Hollywood week? Why pick 31 semifinalists?

  • ptebwwong

    It sounds like what they did in S3 with the wildcard. That year not all wildcards got to sing. I remember back then a lot of Idol fans hated this twist.

  • Pat H

    Really dumb! Why put them in the top 31 to begin with then? If they wanted a Top 24 instead, they should have done that eliminating during the Green Mile episode!

  • Incipit

    Exactly – that’s what every cut until the live voting rounds is based on – whoever The New PTB think will be good contestants.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “ALSO VOTES WILL BE LIMITED. Yep. Voting is limited ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS.”

    Finally! Too little, too late though.

  • AHotDamnMess

    If you dont want to hear that person sing then why not just have a top 24? i cant see how this wont be a hott mess.

  • steve2013

    i cant see how this wont be a hott mess. Thats why there doing it lol

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    Exactly. TWITTER OUTRAGE COMING RIGHT UP. lol.

  • Jason Gorny

    I hope the new set looks nice!

  • CanadianLady

    Yeah, sounds totally stupid. And mean. And I hate both.

  • Kesia Monteith

    So the real question I’ve got to ask…..What the hell is the point of the two guys fighting for the final 30th spot? Just pick one since a couple of the guys will be leaving the show before they perform anyway. What happens to the guy that gets picked? Most likely he’ll won’t be the one leaving. The show has gotten ahead of itself with all these “twists”….

  • vd88

    MJ, I think your talking about Lisa Leuschner, the girl that sing Sweet Thing. I remember ppl getting pissed off about that they didn’t give her another shot.

    Before I thought this meant that some ppl were automatically advancing to the top 13 like the judges are picking out certain ppl they think are really good and won’t have to sing during rush week, there just automatically in the top 13 and everyone else is still singing.

    My dumb self, lol I didn’t realize they meant that some ppl are just not performing at all. Let’s go through this all this trouble of choosing a top 30 and then not having them all sing, of course.

  • Sassycatz

    That sure doesn’t make sense. Why bother advancing them if they aren’t good enough to sing again or have the opportunity of being voted on by the public. It’s just a total waste of their time and ours.

  • yaddabing

    1) I hate the word “twist”

    2) Uh oh. All of those who said the bus thing was too cruel will have a field day with the cutting of contestants.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    More torturing of the contestants ….

  • Mateja Praznik

    I don’t know, the Swedes are known to be sensible people, but this twist is really dumb.

  • isitoveryet

    Definitely too late, the demographic has already made a permanent shift and they’re not coming back.

  • ManicMoxy

    I had also thought that the judges would pre-select a few people to go right through to the top 13 (i.e., “rush”-ing them through).

    MJ, do you know if there will be mentoring of each of the Top 30/31 or SOMETHING additional with the judges between Green Mile and the girls/boys performing that would contribute more information to the judges’ decision of who “deserves” to sing for America’s votes than they had when they picked the Top 30?

    Otherwise, it definitely makes no sense at all. Even Idol, with its manipulation tactics, can’t turn the decision of cutting its own 30 to however many REAL semifinalists they end up having (i.e., the contestants who actually get to compete for votes) into anything even remotely explicable.

    At least if they work with the judges between Green Mile and the “sing for the votes,” we can see if whatever advice/input the judges gave the Top 30 during Green Mile was taken and addressed in the weeks in between. (And it’s been awhile, yes?)

  • Tess Herself

    So…Idol isn’t dumb. They know that spoilers have released the final 31. So now they will unceremoniously cut a half dozen more without allowing them to sing again just so all those who have had time to peruse their favorites on social media will have a monkey wrench thrown into their fandom. I LOVE IT.

  • vd88

    They sure do like torturing these contestants don’t they. “Hey, we made the top 30,” well not really.

  • vd88

    They think this is entertaining or just messing with these contestants, idk it’s ridiculous. They’re wasting time, money, energy on all of this.

  • Miz

    Glad that any phone carrier can be used. I never felt it was fair that it was only AT&T even though that is what I have.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    THEY LIMITED VOTING?!?!?!?!

    *faints*

    If this turns out to be another highly convincing fake press release, my level of sadz will be epic.

  • imozone

    I’m sure I’m way off, but instead of eliminating people first before the Rush Week live shows, could they be offering some of those “Fast Passes” that were announced in the fake press release, then the remaining contestants perform for the rest of the spots? That would validate the boys fighting for the last spot in the top 30.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I have to admit that when I read about “limited voting” my first thought was another fake press release. lol

  • Karen C

    Again, they are going from a top 30 or 24 to 13 in a week. I liked it better when they had a longer semifinals, because we got to see the contestants several times before they got into the top 10.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Idol must think that their audience are sadists.

  • Incipit

    I prefer the top 24 with double eliminations down to the Top 10 for that exact reason, Karen C. I also think it draws out the Top 10 suspense – that was completely short circuited last season. I guess they’ll mess it up again.

  • Sassycatz

    Well, you know, it’s … FANS! We’ve had enough of you! ;-)

  • vd88

    Right, didn’t you think that meant they were going to choose right away some ppl to go the top 13. That would make more sense to me than just getting these ppl together and not having all them sing.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    It’s not fake.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    I doubt spoilers have anything to do with their decision making process. In fact, I’d be willing to bet these twists were in place before any spoilers even surfaced.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Okay, so next hypothesis is that I’m a brain in a tank, imagining all this.

    I didn’t seriously think you’d accept a press release without scrutiny, MJ, but maaaaaan, I’m gobsmacked that TPTB finally actually limited voting. I’m not sure how to cope with a universe in which TPTB pause in their buzz-inducing tormenting of contestants to do something I approve of!

  • vd88

    I don’t think it has anything to do with spoilers. I mean truly 15 performances in one night was always too much. I was wondering how they were going to do that, now I see it was never going to be like that anyway, that’s why they had it like it that.

  • Tess Herself

    I never liked the 24 to 12…because I hated the division by sexes week after week. Besides, I always like the inclusion of judge chosen wild-cards. Having a top 12 or 13 still gives those extra weeks of elimination before the “touring” group is chosen. It never took me 4 weeks to figure out if someone had the IT factor or not. That is obvious by the end of Hollywood week, for the most part.

  • Wui Zhuan Lim

    same thought here. It’s a shoo-in for that 15th male contestant… Support Ben then

  • Kirsten

    What? Twists for twist sakes suck!

    I do not enjoy getting to the voting rounds and then not getting to vote for somebody. Sure, I’ve never voted for anybody in American Idol, but it’s the thought that counts. Why annoy me for no reason?

    This is like an old-style horror movie where they don’t show us the horrifying monster and our mind makes it more horrifying than CGI could ever make it. But, in this case, the singers who get eliminated just before they sing suddenly become the bestest singers ever.

    I’m going to go build an 60 story apartment building on the Grassy Knoll. I think I’m soon going to have people clambering to live there. The only reason those people were cut, is because they were a threat!!!!!!

    Just give us organic interesting twists. If I wanted annoying twists, I’d be watching one of those shows where you put a bunch of young people in a house and film them in increasingly ridiculous situations. If you can’t think up organic twists, then get a new job or the viewers will help you find the impetus.

    BTW Limited voting does not reduce bulk voting. The crazed-uber fans know every trick in the book to get more votes. Then, the start a tumblr page and tell everybody else how to do it too. Then, when their favourite still loses, they blame the winner’s fans for cheating by bulk voting and point to their tumblr sites. That, and the other guys had a telemarketing phone bank in Guam. And cows!

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    BTW Limited voting does not reduce bulk voting. The crazed-uber fans know every trick in the book to get more votes. Then, the start a tumblr page and tell everybody else how to do it too. Then, when their favourite still loses, they blame the winner’s fans for cheating by bulk voting and point to their tumblr sites. That, and the other guys had a telemarketing phone bank in Guam. And cows!

    So much this. lol. It does limit uber fans from casting thousands of votes, but I still predict controversy, even with the voting limited. And there will be no effect on the type of singer who wins.

  • Amy Beth

    I wonder when the contestants were told this info.

    If they’ve known all along, then at least the so-called Top 30 have had time to process it and understand they’re not guaranteed a spot in the semis.

    But if they’re just finding out now, that’s just downright nasty.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    Reminder:

    If you spoil the two guys who are vying for the 30th spot in this thread? I BAN YOU. PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS IN THE SPOILER POSTS.

    I spent an ENTIRE PARAGRAPH IN MY POST ABOVE, WITH LINKS TO WHERE YOU MAY DISCUSS SPOILERS. Was that not enough of an explanation?

  • Kesia Monteith

    I wouldn’t have been as annoyed if they actually sang before the judges decided who to cut. What i really don’t understand is why can’t the two guys fighting for the 30th spot just simply be part the 30th and 31st guy? You can pick from all 16 guys who should be performing for America’s votes. Wouldn’t that make sense? Oh right, I forgot it’s Idol….

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    BTW Limited voting does not reduce bulk voting. The crazed-uber fans know every trick in the book to get more votes.

    This is true, but the more work it is for crazed überfans to put in more than a reasonable number of votes, and the more they have to run in circles and tie themselves in knots and climb mountains and make up hundreds of false identities, the harder it is for super-power-mass voting to be the norm of fan behavior, which should mean that fan culture centers less around voting-like-crazed-monkeys-to-keep-our-snowflake-safe-because-he-neeeeeeeeeds-every-minute-of-our-waking-life-and-f*ck-rules-and-common-sense-because-he-neeeeeeeeeeds-us.

    It’s impossible to stop the truly cray-cray from being cray-cray, so I’ll settle for making it more obvious that their behavior is, in fact, cray.

    Also, I am personally and selfishly happy to have my “normal” level of voting responsibility limited to 50 votes — which happens to be roughly what I can do by phone in a very reasonable half hour while reading the last throes of reactions to that night’s show. Despite being a brain in a vat, I retain enough vestiges of humanity that it’s possible to guilt me into trying to vote more when votes are unlimited, but I resent it and my phone overheats.

  • pmreyn2010

    I liked Lisa Leuschner, and I thought she was the best of group 2 (which was an incredibly weak group overall that year, but she was the bright spot from my perspective). I didn’t get why they cut her without letting her sing. And the main thing I didn’t understand from that wildcard is why Paula picked Leah LaBelle at that time. There were a few contestants I remember that I would’ve picked over her.

    At any rate– I agree, seems like a dumb idea.

  • Decan

    Now that we have had a girl winner.

  • albean99

    Limited voting is better but 50 per method still seems too much. The supervote is easier anyway. I wonder if Randy will feel more relevant mentoring rather than judging? Probably not. Happy to see Chris Daughtry at least.

  • Mafs95

    Something doesn’t make any sense in this: they will ask us to choose who’s going to be 15th guy by voting between two of them who, supposedly, are the ones the judges were not as crazy or enthusiastic about (in other words, the “least favourite” from the bunch) but then they will have to cut some people before they even sing. So… does it mean the guy America will save is going to be axed, anyway? Or will it be safe? But wouldn’t that be contradicting the previous judges’ decision? Yeah, this seems pretty stupid.

  • Larc

    Am I understanding this correctly? The spoiler list of the top 31 (30 after one is voted out on Thursday night) won’t be the exact 15 girls and 15 boys who will sing on the 18th and 19th? If this is the case, I’m thinking maybe the judges actually chose two partially overlapping groups, one semi-bogus list that they knew would leak and the other – the real one – that they kept secret from the contestants and maybe from even most of the Idol staff so it couldn’t leak. Tricky move if that’s what happened. That scenario could also explain why a few names are missing from the spoiler list that I feel should be on it.

  • b_james

    I seriously can’t believe they did it. I wonder if vote outcomes will change at this point. I really think they would have other years, but not so sure now. Also, I know this Rush Week nonsense is going to infuriate me. I just loved the old Top 24 3-week semifinals.

  • b_james

    I’m still mad about them cutting Lisa! Haha. Here she is performing on Season 3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwk6HOdUIgo

  • Birdiex

    I don’t really care either way about the limited voting, I don’t think it makes much of a difference either way.

    I don’t like the whole sending them home before they sing. What if somebody who they are cutting was going to have an amazing performance? They should just let them all perform and then the judges can send some home before we get to vote. I would like that better.

  • bannanafish

    “Fans can submit up to 50 votes per contestant per originating number”…
    So if you have 3 favorites you don’t have to split your 50 votes, you can vote 50 times per contestant???

  • Birdiex

    I wonder how they will determine who to send home? Whoever was the most inconsistent for Hollywood week?

    Even if that happened, it still might be unfair, because what if someone who was inconsistent during HW has an amazing performance we will never get? Maybe it will be whoever does the worst in rehearsals.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    No. I think The Top 30 show up, and the judges cruelly inform them on the spot whether they are singing or not.

  • Larc

    So the official schedule that the Top 30 will be performing on the 18th and 19th is wrong? It seems unnecessarily heartless to make people go through all the preparation and then not be allowed to sing. I was hoping cuts would get made during the workshops.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    They SHOW UP but don’t necessarily sing. The press release clearly says that the judges choose who sings and who doesn’t. It happens live, on TV. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be very dramatic.

  • Karen C

    At this point, though, I don’t think one contestant will have that level of uber fans. That would come much later or even after the show was over.
    Even if there is bulk voting, I think it evens out, because everyone has the same opportunity to have the fans bulk vote. But it seems like the contestants that fans bulk vote for are the most popular anyway. The winner is usually the top of most polls, and even the itunes sales once figures are released. So I dont’ think limiting votes will change what the results would have been as much as people think.
    I agree about not everyone getting to perform.

  • Cary Gonzalez

    The chosen fodder will be the ones that are sent packing without singing. Probably union actors hired to play the part. It happened on X Factor where one of the alleged members of an all-girl group was a recognizable internet soap opera actress.

  • Larc

    I’m thinking what they did during the workshops will at least enter into the decisions. Maybe the mentors even had some input.

  • TLKC

    I just wish they would let Canadians vote. It’s not as if we are getting Canadian Idol back anytime soon.

  • CanadianLady

    Yuck, I really hope not.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    When they did something similar in Season 3, the judges sat in (and even mentored, I think) during rehearsals. Their decisions were based on the week spent with the contestant.

    Randy may have some input here, based on the two days he spent with the Top 39. And the producers too, of course.

  • Jeff Dodge

    I know the things that everyone’s talking about are the fact that not everyone will get to sing and that votes are being limited, but something I noticed no one has mentioned (and it’s really not a big deal, but I thought it was interesting to bring up nonetheless) is that the phone numbers have changed: 1-855-4-IDOL-01, -02, etc. It used to be an 866 #: 1-866-IDOLS-01, etc. I wonder why they changed it.