MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I got a hold of the full schedule for American Idol XIII plus format changes. American Idol will debut with a two-night four-hour premier, on Wednesday January 15 and Thursday January 16.

  • Hollywood Rounds begin Wednesday Feb 5
  • Semi-finalists revealed Thursday Feb 13
  • WINNER CANDICE GLOVER will be featured in a VICTORY SPECIAL on Tuesday Feb 19!
  • Voting begins Wednesday Feb 19
  • FAST PASSES awarded Wednesday March 5
  • The Finale will take place in NEW YORK CITY! Tuesday May 20 and Wednesday May 21

Here’s the format.  Auditions are as always, and will take place over a 6 episode two week period.  “The Road to Hollywood” is coming back. That will be the last episode. See the schedule below!

The Hollywood Rounds air in 3 parts. There will be a “Green Mile” episode. by the end of it, the TOP 50 will be whittled down to the Top 31.

Candice Glover gets her very own special! On Tuesday Feb 18. Candice returns to celebrate the long-awaited release of her debut album, Music Speaks. She’ll also be on hand to preview the NEWLY DESIGNED IDOL STAGE and advise the new contestants. The special is named Candice Glover: Up Close and Personal.  The American Idol season 12 winner will sing songs from the new album. There will also be a Q&A and surprise musical guests.

Here’s where the big changes come. The semi-finals will come in TWO phases.

  • The Top 31 will be split into 3 groups based on AGE. Seniors, Intermediates and Juniors.
  • Starting, Wednesday Feb. 19, One group of semi-finalists will sing for both the judges consideration and America’s votes, in 3 separate episodes.
  • On Thursday Feb 27, in the first results show, only 16 semi-finalists will advance. This is the first LIVE show.
  • On Wednesday March 6 in a 2 1/2 hour broadcast, the Top 16 will perform live.
  • Before the votes are cast, a few will be fast-tracked to the finals.
  • On Thursday March 7, The Top 12 will be revealed, live.

The finals begin on Wednesday March 12. The Judges Save is STILL A THING.  On Thursday May 15, an expanded Idol will commemorate its 500th episode. A finalist will be eliminated. THIRTY MINUTE RESULTS SHOW DURING THE FINALS PHASE.

The GRAND FINALE will take place in New York City at Madison Square Garden.  The Final 2 perform on Tuesday, May 2o and the winner will be revealed on Wednesday May 21.

Check out the schedule below

Auditions

  • Wednesday, Jan. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1 – Boston, MA
  • Thursday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2 – Austin, TX
  • Wednesday, Jan. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) Detroit, MI & Salt Lake City, UT
  • Thursday, Jan. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) Atlanta, GA
  • Wednesday, Jan. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM) Omaha, NE & San Francisco, CA
  • Thursday, Jan. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM) The Road to Hollywood

Hollywood

  • Wednesday, Feb. 5 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 1
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 2
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 3
  • Thursday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM) The Green Mile; Semifinalists Revealed

Candice Glover Special

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM) Candice Glover: Up Close and Personal. Sponsored by iTunes.

Semi-finals

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Senior Division, Ages 22 & Over, Perform; Voting Begins
  • Thursday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Intermediate Division, Ages 18 to 21, Perform
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Junior Division, Ages 17 & Under, Perform
  • Thursday, Feb. 27 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Top 16 Revealed
  • Wednesday, March 5 (8:00-10:30 PM) Top 16 Semifinalists Perform & Fast Passes Awarded LIVE
  • Thursday, March 6 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Top 12 Completed

Finals

  • Wednesdays, beginning March 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform LIVE
  • Thursdays, beginning March 13 (8:00-8:30 PM) LIVE Results Show (39 minute episodes)
  • Thursday, May 15 (8:00-9:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Final 2 Revealed (500th Episode)

Finale

  • Tuesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 PM) LIVE Season Finale, Part 1 – Final 2 Perform (Special Tuesday Airing)
  • Wednesday, May 21 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Season Finale, Part 2 – Winner Announced

The Press Release I was sent:

“AMERICAN IDOL XIII” DEBUTS WITH TWO-NIGHT, FOUR-HOUR PREMIERE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, AND THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, ON FOX

Hollywood Rounds Begin Wednesday, February 5; Semifinalists Revealed on Thursday, February 13

Season 12 Winner Candice Glover’s iTunes-Sponsored Victory Special Airs Tuesday, February 19

Voting Begins Wednesday, February 19; All-New Fast Passes Awarded Wednesday, March 5

New York City Hosts Live, Two-Night Finale Event on Tuesday, May 20, and Wednesday, May 21

Hosted by the inimitable Ryan Seacrest, AMERICAN IDOL XIII features a cohesive new judging panel including Grammy Award-winning and platinum-selling recording artist, actress, movie and television producer and entrepreneur Jennifer Lopez; Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning multi-platinum singer, musician, songwriter, composer and film/television and Broadway actor Harry Connick, Jr.; and Keith Urban, the four-time Grammy Award-winning country artist who has sold more than 15 million albums. Rounding out the team is Grammy Award-winning producer and IDOL veteran Randy Jackson, who will lend his industry and IDOL expertise to the contestants in his new role as the in-house mentor. Seacrest and the three judges traveled to Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Omaha, NE; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Francisco, CA, to find potential superstars to join the ranks of IDOL favorites Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, and Adam Lambert. Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records, under the direction of Chairman Jimmy Iovine, along with 19 Recordings, will once again release IDOL music throughout the season and following its finale in May.

AUDITIONS

AMERICAN IDOL XIII kicks off its nationwide search for the best new talent, featuring Emmy Award-nominated host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban. The incredible journey begins with the Boston auditions on Wednesday, Jan. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and the Austin auditions on Thursday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX. The quest continues in Detroit and Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Atlanta on Thursday, Jan. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Omaha and San Francisco on Wednesday, Jan. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). “The Road to Hollywood” wraps up Thursday, Jan. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) with a handful of nominated hopefuls, plus a candid look at online submissions and highlights of the most memorable auditions.

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS

Across the country, the contestants who earned golden tickets will head to Hollywood and be put to the ultimate music challenge during “Hollywood Week,” airing in three parts – Wednesday, Feb. 5 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, Feb. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). However, the experience may be short-lived, as many will be cut without stepping foot in the Dolby Theater. By the end of “The Green Mile,” on Thursday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), the Top 50 is whittled down to the Top 31.

REIGNING CHAMPION

On a special night, Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Candice Glover, winner of AMERICAN IDOL XII, returns to celebrate the highly-anticipated release of her debut album, MUSIC SPEAKS, as well as preview the newly redesigned IDOL stage and provide advice to 2014 competitors. “Candice Glover: Up Close and Personal”, presented by iTunes, features performances of brand new songs, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, a fan-powered Q&A session, and surprise musical guests.

TWO-PHASE SEMIFINALS

It’s up to the panel of judges and the viewers at home to determine who makes it through the semifinals and who gets sent home. In a new twist, the Top 31 semifinalists will be split into three divisions, based on age – seniors, intermediates, and juniors. Starting Wednesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing Thursday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Wednesday, Feb. 26 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), one division of semifinalists will sing each night for both the Judges’ consideration and America’s votes. In the season’s first results show, on Thursday, Feb. 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), only 16 semifinalists will advance. During a special, extended primetime broadcast, airing Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-10:30 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the Top 16 semifinalists will perform LIVE, but before votes are cast, a select few will be fast-tracked to the finals. On Thursday, March 7 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the AMERICAN IDOL XIII Top 12 will be fully revealed LIVE from Los Angeles.

WEEKLY FINALS

Wednesdays, beginning March 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining finalists take to the IDOL stage. Finalists will sing their hearts out for the coveted save as America’s vote is revealed Thursdays, beginning March 13 (8:00-8:30 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed). In the penultimate results show of the season, airing Thursday, May 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), IDOL expands to commemorate an amazing milestone, while one more finalist must be eliminated to reveal the Final 2 performers.

GRAND FINALE

For the first time ever, New York City hosts the star-studded, two-night season conclusion of the hit competition series, LIVE from Madison Square Garden. First, the Final 2 contestants go head-to-head for the title on a special night, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed). Then, on Wednesday, May 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the champion of AMERICAN IDOL XIII is crowned.

***************************

All LIVE episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed.

AUDITIONS (EP. 1-6)

Wednesday, Jan. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1 – Boston, MA

Thursday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2 – Austin, TX

Wednesday, Jan. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) Detroit, MI & Salt Lake City, UT

Thursday, Jan. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) Atlanta, GA

Wednesday, Jan. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM) Omaha, NE & San Francisco, CA

Thursday, Jan. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM) The Road to Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS (EP. 7-10)

Wednesday, Feb. 5 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 1

Thursday, Feb. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 2

Wednesday, Feb. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Week, Part 3

Thursday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM) The Green Mile; Semifinalists Revealed

REIGNING CHAMPION (EP. 11)

Tuesday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM) Candice Glover: Up Close and Personal; Presented by iTunes (Special Tuesday Airing)

TWO-PHASE SEMIFINALS (EP. 12-17)

Wednesday, Feb. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Senior Division, Ages 22 & Over, Perform; Voting Begins

Thursday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Intermediate Division, Ages 18 to 21, Perform

Wednesday, Feb. 26 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists in the Junior Division, Ages 17 & Under, Perform

Thursday, Feb. 27 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Top 16 Revealed

Wednesday, March 5 (8:00-10:30 PM) Top 16 Semifinalists Perform & Fast Passes Awarded LIVE (Extended to 2½ Hours)

Thursday, March 6 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Top 12 Completed

WEEKLY FINALS (EP. 18-37)

Wednesdays, beginning March 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform LIVE

Thursdays, beginning March 13 (8:00-8:30 PM) LIVE Results Show (½ Hour Episodes)

Thursday, May 15 (8:00-9:00 PM) LIVE Results Show; Final 2 Revealed (500th Episode)

GRAND FINALE (EP. 38 & 39)

Tuesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 PM) LIVE Season Finale, Part 1 – Final 2 Perform (Special Tuesday Airing)

Wednesday, May 21 (8:00-10:00 PM) LIVE Season Finale, Part 2 – Winner Announced

***************************

AMERICAN IDOL is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, and FremantleMedia North America. The series was created and is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Founder/CEO, XIX Entertainment. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, FremantleMedia; Trish Kinane and Per Blankens, FremantleMedia North America; and Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager, 19 Entertainment, serve as executive producers.

Visit AmericanIdol.com and “Like” AMERICAN IDOL on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericanIdol. Follow the series on Twitter @AmericanIdol and join the discussion using #idol. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @AmericanIdol. Download the AMERICAN IDOL app for iOS devices from the App StoreSM; and for Android devices at Google PlayTM Store.** Data rates may apply for app download and usage.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For photos and more information on AMERICAN IDOL XIII, please visit http://www.foxflash.com/div.php/main/page?aID=1z2z2z31.]

 
  • Sicola789

    Can we stop now with the “Candice is being completely ignored” now? Lol.

    The changes sound interesting, and I think the Madison Square Garden thing is a cool idea. I’m guessing the “Fast Track” thing is the new wildcard?

  • Eileen99

    Good for Idol giving Candice some support. I love the idea of a special devoted to her to let fans catch up with her & listen to her new music. I’m really happy with this development.

    NYC sounds exciting! Great idea to move the finale and make it fresh.

  • Tina

    So does that mean no age limit? Did I miss that announcement?

  • Anna106

    This is the only reality show that I get excited about….still the best there is!

  • Dilly

    All they need to do to fix it is to limit voting per handset to 10 votes. That would immediately fix the root cause of idols demise into “who can get the fewest number of teenage girls to power vote the most”, and would bring out the true popular vote winners.

  • Sicola789

    I don’t think Candice was the result of a teenage vote lol.

  • alan___b

    So if you make Top 16 the judges can fast track you to the finals ?

  • Dilly

    …but she was the result of no wgwg’s being in the top 10 to attract the teenage viewers – and thus Idols lowest audience ever.

  • girlygirl

    MSG seems like too big of a venue to host the finale, but it’s an interesting idea. Better than just sticking with the same old same old, anyway.

    Good for AI for promoting Candice. Timed to go with her album release, too.

    Not sure what I think about the breaking the finalists into different age groups. That is very X-Factoresque.

  • Prime_Minister

    I hope they bring back all the past winners + popular alumni for the 500th episode! Having stuck with Idol for so long, is it weird that this is what I’m most looking forward to? Totally excited for Season 13 though; if pattern holds, this should be as good as 4, 7, 10!

  • LeahKittyS

    Yup. It sounds to me like the new “Wild Card.” Curious to see how it works out. I don’t know, I hear the words “Fast Track” and I think of that thing that reduces your waits at the amusement park LOL.

  • gclay

    LOVE the new york thing cause Ive always wanted to go to the finale and yeaaaahhh Candice getting that promo!!! For those saying people won’t tune in she can’t possibly do worse than the current FOX tuesday lineup and this can be really great promo. Plus she can still perform on results shows, the finale, and the ilk. Idols best promo cause from the success of the alum so they should ride that wave

  • gclay

    If the teenage vote was the biggest problem angie wouldve one

  • jms

    If this follows the 4, 7, and 10 trend, it’s gonna be good.

  • Jason Gorny

    Wow I am liking the new changes. The finale in NYC will be awesome. It’s similar to what the XF UK does at Wembley/Manchester Arena. I’m curious about the fast-track format. And I’m glad that Candice is getting promos for her album and that Idol didn’t forget about her. So far, I am looking forward to the change and the 500th episode!!

  • Sicola789

    They should have all 12 winners perform together for the 500th episode.

  • LeahKittyS

    Ohh…that would be awesome! And maybe they can get some of the other big names, too (Clay, Jennifer, Chris, Kellie, Adam, etc.)

  • Prime_Minister

    Idol girls tend to make up most of the younger ages and the boys are typically older. As long as there’s no gender quota in addition to the different age groups, I don’t think this new grouping style will make much of a difference in the Top 16 results.

  • Jason Gorny

    Yes!! That would be amazing. Hopefully Kelly will be up to it. Nashville is a shorter flight to NYC than to LA.

  • Kesia Monteith

    I guess my thing is the whole age divide. Not sure if that is necessary…

  • Wfish88

    That is some MAJOR promo for Candice. Not many new artists get their own prime time special. I’m exited for the finale to be in NYC. The exitment and freshness is back for first time since season 10!!

  • BluSky

    if all was about teenage votes then Colton Dixon would’ve won season 11. Or, at least he would’ve been in the finals.

  • Sicola789

    Yep, this is how the pattern is:

    Seasons 1, 4, 7, 10: everything feels fresh and new, mostly a good cast, popular/successful winners, gets generally good praise from the media and fans.

    Seasons 2, 5, 8, 11: fanwars are the worst during these seasons, popular casts, winner often criticized as being the “wrong” winner, fans often still talk/argue about these seasons today, often pegged as the “best seasons ever.”

    Seasons 3, 6, 9, 12: often called the “worst season ever.” Girls are generally strong, and the boys are almost embarrassingly worst. Panned by critics and fans, always little to no diversity, results in a reboot the following season, tour attendance low, someone always lasts way past their due date(John, Jasmine, Sanjaya, Tim, Lazaro).

  • Jason Gorny

    I thought six was a good season aside from the sanjaya fiasco.

  • Pat H

    Not sure why they are dividing by age but the rest sounds great! Love that Candice gets her own episode!

  • http://twitter.com/ElizabethThe Elizabeth Rosalyn

    “Semifinalists in the Senior Division, Ages 22 & Over” – That makes me feel really old. Thanks, Idol! hah

  • BluSky

    They need some publicity to support the release of the album. I hope this major promo helps Candice sell her album. Because her singles aren’t helping so far…

  • Amy Beth

    Given our discussion on the large number of teenagers, can the semis be evenly divided?

    I assume the Fast Pass (hope Disney doesn’t sue!) means the judges get to choose some of the finalists outright.

    I like that there is no gender quota past the Top 31.

  • alan___b

    Wonder if each judge gets to fast track one contestant?

  • Amy Beth

    Let’s pretend they mean senior in college!

  • mmmtx

    I’m glad that there will be promo for Candice’s album which has been delayed for almost a year. However a full hour dedicated to her is too much for me so I won’t be watching that night.

  • Amy Beth

    Wouldn’t Kelly be about 8+ months pregnant then? NO flying allowed.

  • Karen C

    I don’t think it’s just the teenagers that like the WGWG, though. The type of music they do generally appeals more to adults.

  • ajr86

    Am I the only one confused with the new format? The math doesn’t exactly add up. How do you split 31 evenly into 3 groups? How many advance from each group to the top 16? 5.3?

  • Jason Gorny

    Train then lol

  • Karen C

    This is a great idea for Candice. I have thought for a long time that Idol has the power to promote the winners more than they do, because millions vote for the contestants and don’t buy the albums when then come out. Many don’t know even know about the albums even if they are fans.

    Even so, with there being less popularity from last year, I’m not sure how many would be interested, but this could help promote Candice especially since it has been longer for the cd to come out. Maybe this was the reason for the delay, to promote it during Idol. If it helps Candice at all, i would think it would have really helped the more popular Idols.

  • Mystery

    It doesn’t make sense to me either. I’m also confused by the Top 16 round. If they fast track even just 2 or 3 people on, that’s leaves 13-14 eligible for voting to get into the Top 12, and they’re doing a 2 hour Top 16 Results show just to eliminate one or two people?

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Didn’t the Top 12 perform “victory songs” or something like that last year? There also could be musical guests. It’s a results show.

  • Niall

    I like the changes. It freshens things up just enough without making it feel like a different show. I’m excited to see Fox and Idol supporting Candice. I think the producers know she needs help. That’s a much better approach than acting like last season didn’t happen just because it wasn’t on their watch.

    The NYC finale is genius. I never thought of moving the finale but doing so might interest the press enough that we’ll get stuff like the TVGuide or E! Red Carpet back again. The red carpet and interviews before the start of the finale was fun but stopped a couple years ago.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    The judges pick some, the viewers pick some. The number that advances does not have to be even.

  • Bugme Nomor

    I think adult men and women also vote with their eyes as well as their ears. Elvis would not have been Elvis if he first took the stage looking like Drew Carey at his heaviest.

  • yaddabing

    Holy s**t at the finale being at MSG. I hoped they would eventually move it across the road to the Staples Center. I didn’t think they would move it across country.

    Fox is putting a lot into it this year. I really hope it pays off.

  • Mystery

    True! And I realized my math was off. Let’s say each judge gets to fast track 1 person on (not saying that will happen, just a guess). That leaves 13 people the public votes for. But, there are only 9 spots up for grabs, since the judges already put 3 through. So the voting would eliminate more than I originally thought. Either way, I’m glad to see something new done! Can’t wait.

  • maymay

    Fox will air one hour special show for Candice`s debut album promo? WOW, just WOW.

    This is just a great opportunity for Candice. Did any singing show do this kind of promo for the winner before? I doubt.

  • Karen C

    I think most people vote because they like the contestant’s music.

  • andy190

    she certainly needs it after the itunes miss up all her pre-orders from last season got canceled

  • Karen C

    Just read more about how they are going to separate them by age. This will assure that they have an equal number in all divisions. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Too much like X Factor. And it could eliminate some contestants that are better than those in other divisions.

  • hayes

    I only want one thing for the 500th episode: All 12 winners on one stage.

  • Roimeister

    39 minutes for results shows? they were ALREADY too long

  • HKfan

    I agree, I didn’t particularly enjoy her when she was on Idol, so I certainly won’t want to watch a whole hour of her. But I hope it helps her sell lots of records. ,

  • b_james

    OH SNAP. Nice job with this scoop, MJ. I am loving the changes! And I wish they did that winner special every year. I also really like the NYC twist. It will make the contestants in the finale really feel like they’ve gone to the next level, hitting a new city and being around fans. I can picture a taped piece of them standing in Times Square already.

  • Aaron Krandel

    This is AMAZING for Candice, her fans will be watching, American Idol’s (if it is doing well) viewership will be up, PLUS the musical guests will draw in fans as well… I’m really happy for her! She DESERVES this!!!! Who’s with me!?

  • b_james

    I really doubt Kelly will be able to be there, but maybe she can do some kind of taping or something via satellite?

  • Wfish88

    Yep. All those pre-orders right after she won went to waste. People have to re- preorder it. And I can imagine many buyers had buyers remorse.

  • Adrian Sewell

    I’m looking forward to this season of Idol and I’am most definetly excited for this new hour special for Candice. She was favorite last season and it’s nice that they would lend so much support to her.

  • Montavilla

    I hope it’s a success and they keep it going for the next season. I think that having an hour-long show where you get to show off your album is a great perk for the winners.

  • Montavilla

    They can send a team of strong young men to carry her in a litter — with lots of pillows. Spare no expense for the original Idol!

  • Montavilla

    That’s one thing I’m a bit iffy on. It seems arbitrary and unnecessary.

  • Jason Gorny

    i don’t think they will do it without having the original winner of American Idol there. You just cannot have all the winners together without Kelly. it’s just not right.

  • jpfan2

    Ugh dividing the finalists into groups by age reminds me of the XFactor. A special devoted to Candice better include some stars to attract viewers. A finale at Madison Square Garden seems like overkill. Oh well, we’ll see if any of this brings back the Idol audience.

  • Aakash Mansukhani

    Damn, idol is really stepping it up this year! Hopefully it reigns supreme.

  • Sicola789

    Not sure how I feel about the being grouped by age thing yet, but people have been complaining forever about being separated by gender and how it’s unfair if there has to be an even amount of boys and girls advance, so at least there’s that.

    Maybe they can bring Drake or Mariah Carey for Candice’s special.

  • Sicola789

    I just realized, Candice’s special is sponsored by iTunes…maybe this is their way of saying “sorry” about screwing up her preorders lolz.

  • jdanton2

    Happy to see Candice is getting her own special. good timing for the day of the album release.

  • andy190

    Great thing about the Candice special is it restores hope to not only Candice fans but all idol fans in general,the show still cares about their winners and to launch more successful ones.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Looking at the numbers, why make TOP 16 from TOP 31 and then go to TOP 12 the next week? Eliminating only 4 in the second week of the semifinals seems a small number compared to the number they will cut the week before (15). Also, was it really necessary to add the extra semifinalist? What a mess. Now we can only hope that this new system doesn’t produce 9 male and 3 female finalists.

    Good for Candice for getting her own special. I guess at least something good turned out from her album being delayed until the next Idol season.

    I don’t see the point in moving the finale to New York. Heck, I don’t see the point in moving the finale from the regular TV studio at all. It’s not going to make a difference to the viewers and the TOP 2 will be busy enough without that.

  • Karen C

    Yeah, but the other 11 winners should be allowed to get together even if she can’t do it, if that’s what the plan is. I agree maybe they can film something with her, if she is able.

    Unless they just film something in Nashville with all the winners, actually quite a few of them are already there anyway.

  • Madilo

    Good for Candice, i hope this will help her with her sales.
    She better look great that day and kill her performances, give it your all Candice girl !

    PS : People will now stop talking about how Idol want people to forget that season 12 existed right ?

  • Kariann Hart

    I wish they had done this for each and every winner of Idol. So happy Candice is getting this special. No one can blame her for the falling ratings last season.

  • Kariann Hart

    They vote because they like the music and the persona of the contestant.

  • Kariann Hart

    Season 10 is low on my list where as I really liked Season 9. To each their own.

  • Kariann Hart

    They can get Kelly on Video Tape. It won’t be the same, but it could work!

  • Kariann Hart

    I’m not sure what the purpose is of this age division. Are there a lot of older contestants this year? It certainly sounds like it will be a better year all the way around!

  • Dewayne Boyd

    The age categories make no sense. The gender split is at least reasonable to some degree to get different kinds of voices and styles. But there is no difference between an 18-year-old in Group B and a 17-year-old in Group A. So let’s use a gimmick from a show that has failed in the US (X Factor) and was even beat by The Sing-Off. LOL.

  • Tess Herself

    Just like any TV show trying to get its second wind Idol will probably face as many naysayers for the new formats as it will those who climb on the bandwagon. There are always those that want the show to be “just like it was” during their favorite season and feel that any new devices will just muddy the waters.

    Personally, other than the Candace “hour” (which nothing in the world would get me to watch) I’m looking forward to some stirring of the pot. No mention was made of “wild cards” but I’d bet that not all the top 16 will be voted in…I’m sure the PTB via the judges will still make sure that some of their “favorites” will make it.

    As far as the finals being in NYC…why not? The eastern time zone always gets the “live” broadcast anywhos and now the show won’t be struggling to find acts to perform at 5 in the afternoon….besides it may open the pool of peeps who’ll be around for the big finale. And as far as the makeup of the finals…I could care less if it is all girls or all boys or a mix of each. The bottom line is who will get support via sales after Idol is over…haven’t seen much evidence that the girl winners of The Voice or X-Factor have done better than the guys of Idol.

  • shell29

    I love that they are committed to changing things up this season. Love the move to NYC for the finale and it’s great that Candice is getting her own special to promote her album. Idol had grown stale over the past few seasons-it seems that last season may have been the ‘wake up call’ that TPTB needed. I’m actually interested in Idol again and looking forward to seeing if these changes can breathe new life into this show.

  • Tess Herself

    No “commercial” flying. Kelly can hop on any private plane, can even deliver on one if she so chooses.

  • Tess Herself

    Idol has tried it all…random semi groups, girls against girls and boys against boys. They can’t just throw 31 singers out there to be voted on without some kind of breakdown. And no matter the type of breakdown some fan will get butt hurt that their fav was stuck in a group with all the other fan favorites and “didn’t stand a chance”. There just isn’t anyway to make the semi’s “fair”….ages is as good a division as any.

  • Valarie

    Two thirds of the 31 contestants will be aged 21 and younger. This should help Idol attract younger viewers.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Actually, most contestants are young.

  • jnsars4dgai09

    I believe this is some kind of a “reverse” wildcard, in a sense that the judges will first select the finalists before America does.

  • springboard2

    I like that the producers judges have a say in the semi-finals. It makes the system more transparent because they’ll won’t hide who they are interested in.

  • WestiesRule

    At least they are trying to change it up. I will watch. I always watch! (but with much less interest)

  • halo9125

    An hour special to promote Candace= lowest rated episode in Idol history.

  • raymarhead

    Completely agree. I honestly thought the Idol team would want to wash their hands completely of Season 12 so I’m really happy that they’re still supporting the only great thing to come from it.

  • maymay

    FOX promoting the Idol winner Candice`s debut album with a special show is just like NBC promoting the Voice coach Blake and mentor Kelly`s Christmas albums with special shows.

    These special shows have nothing to do with the regular singing shows` high ratings. Blake and Kelly their shows` ratings were very low.

  • Dewayne Boyd

    If you are talking wildcards, which is probably what this will be, that is unfortunately not what has happened in the past. Even at that stage in the competition, they are filling “spots” with people who have no chance of winning, based on gender, race, etc. Meanwhile, fantastic singers like Lauren Turner go home. You could say it’s cause Idol doesn’t care about good singing, but that doesn’t add up, either, when you see them putting through fodder like Naima Adedapo.

  • ellen8

    The fact that they are giving Candice the special redeems Idol for me !!
    It’s about time they made this show about the end result and drop the arrogance that the show can stand on its own.

  • Mateja Praznik

    It’s definitely better than the old wildcard system. I always felt bad about wildcard picks because we all knew they didn’t stand a chance because they didn’t make it through the semis based on votes and had to be wildcarded.

  • Dewayne Boyd

    I’d prefer a seeding method, like in sports. Then see how many favorites are upset by the underdogs. There are a lot more interesting ways to do it than what they have tried.

  • justmefornow

    Interesting changes.
    - Lol at “senior” being 22 and older (this must be a VERY young group on the whole this year).
    - Good that itunes is sponsoring a special for Candice after their screw up, but honestly they would have to have some exciting guests on to prevent another snooze fest. Sorry Candice, nice voice, but boring performer.
    - I like the move to NYC for the final, shake things up even more.

    I’ll tune in to see if anyone sparks my interest this year. I haven’t seen anyone in the spoilers so far that really sparked a lot of interest, but you never know.

  • Anny_nanny

    I love the participants S11&9, and their performed on the show, but I must agree, S10 was the best as a show – just the Top-10 had very much the weakest participants. But it is a very modern approach to the music business – no matter how you sing, it’s important how we sell you.
    (While I was not stoned) of course, the S10 also had a lot of strong participants, but the average level was slightly better S12. And, who would not say about the S12, there was no one worthy Top-10 any other strong season.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Meh, it wasn’t that long ago that the “seniors” were called the same thing in High School or College. It’s not that bizarre. My only issue with it is the forcing of a certain number of each group. I’d much rather have a number of good performers, rather than give up a good one in a group, while letting a lesser talented in another through.

    Still, the changes are fairly interesting.

  • Anny_nanny

    Or lose those few who managed to survive the fiasco of last season. I don’t know what will be on show this year, but I would hope that someone has up sleeve something more interesting that they have on YT.

  • justmefornow

    True. But they’re aren’t referring to the youngest ones as “freshman”, the middle group as “sophomores”, etc.
    It’s just the negative connotation of the word I guess.

  • http://www.twitter.com/sarahruth3 Sarah

    I’m guessing the top 31 will be split into two groups of 10 and one group of 11. So, not even, but as even as possible. So then maybe they’d have 5 make it from the groups of 10 and 6 make it from the group of 11? That seems the most logical, but who knows. Idol often doesn’t follow the most logical path. Ha.

  • Jae

    I’m not so sure. I think the core idol audience is curious about winners and likes to know what is going on with them. And a special for candace is great because it reintroduces her at the right time. I liked candace well enough last year but seriously, I almost forget we had a winner after P2. I think if people like this ennew season, a decent number will tune in to see that episode.

  • http://www.twitter.com/sarahruth3 Sarah

    That’s what I was just thinking. Record it in Nashville. Whether she CAN travel may not mean that she WANTS to, especially if she’s only a few weeks away from her due date.

  • mmb

    Great that they are doing the special for Candice — should ensure a top 10 (or maybe even a #1) album chart debut. Its a great idea that I don’t know why they haven’t done sooner (maybe because they’ve always signed more than one person in every other season..who knows)..I hate the idea of the age groups…just have never liked dividing by age. MSG for finale? Seems kinda big — but i’m guessing that they are going to have a pretty big time line up for the finale if they are booking MSG.

  • vdawg

    I wonder if they will still use same old songs. I do like what I have seen from the previews and I love the judges so far. I hope this will be a great Idol season.

  • Anny_nanny

    AI must spend money and tape hologram performance of Kelly right now. We’ll forgive, if they will explain this sincerely and humor. We all love the original Idol and show is not possible without the splendid voice of Kelly.
    But I agree, I would love to see all the winners and many popular Idols on the same stage. And I hope to see many at the final show, because as far as I see, many alumni will be faster and easier to arrive at the show on the East Coast. This is something that has been discussed here last year – a lot of AI-alum associated with NYC or Nashville, the show must book them on a date and we can get a wonderful episode. I still can’t forget the moment when the Season 9 so much of my favorite came on the stage. A number of current artists – this is what makes the AI monster among other singing show.

  • MickeiKnight

    “Newly designed Idol stage” Curious.

  • Tess Herself

    And who seeds them….haven’t they tried that in the seasons when they set up 3 random groups of 10 (ie: season 8 for example). I can remember nothing but complaining because all the fan favorites were in a single group.

  • justmefornow

    My guess is because itunes is sponsoring the special that they are doing it. I doubt they would be doing it without that kind of money. My guess is neither Fox or Interscope is footing any of this bill and rather using it as more self promotion along with promoting Candice.

  • Tess Herself

    Who the heck was Lauren Turner? Apparently the fans didn’t like her enough to put her through, maybe the judges saw the same negatives the fans did.

  • Incipit

    All along, I was counting on this season following that pattern with the contestants, Sicola789, and this year’s judging panel looked like it would be fun to watch, instead of downright painful, like last year.

    But watching the parade of Very Young People in the previews, their skill level has been disheartening, and this age division mess does not improve my expectations…I dislike Judge’s Save immensely – almost as much as I dislike Wild Cards of any sort – and anything that gives the judges more visible control than the audience vote gets a thumbs down from me…because I figure it’s always just a mask for allowing the Producer’s to have visible control that extends beyond selecting the contestants that the audience votes for.

    They already control the song lists, the selections, the possible arrangements, the band, the back up singers, the staging choices, the lighting, the crummy sound system, the edits that each contestant gets, (even the leaks to TMZ, if they play the game the way Nigel did.) Why do they need to give the judges any voting power – we know who actually controls that too!

    The whole thing is an egregious violation of the KISS Principle. IMO. Of Course.

  • bscfan

    For me, the best change is the half hour results show. This show has just demanded too much of the viewer’s time.

  • emme1000

    having the finale in nyc will breathe some life into the show. Ive been to several shows out here in la…gets old. time for new people to get a chance!

  • Incipit

    “Or lose those few who managed to survive the fiasco of last season.”

    Two thirds are 21 and younger? That is a Sh!tload of Very Young People! What is this now, the New Junior Idol? smh.

    What’s the break at younger than 18? I was starting to back away from this season just from the cumulative weight of the contestant’s mediocre previews – this new structure looks like it’s chock full of chances to pull strings behind the scenes. Does not give me a warm and cozy feeling here. Heh.

  • Incipit

    Yes, because if they don’t, and 22 is a Senior, we are looking at the New Junior Idol.

    IMO.

  • Liteasy

    I don’t think many teenagers even watch Idol.

  • Anny_nanny

    All AI winners, except for Kelly, at this moment already or were platinum artists, or were dead.

  • Vetle

    Really cool of them to give Candice some much needed promotion.

  • Dewayne Boyd

    Huh? No, they have never seeded them – not openly. I am talking about openly seeding them to create favorites and underdogs. They’ve never approached such a thing. As far as complaining, you know some segment will always complain.

  • Dewayne Boyd

    And maybe every record company saw the same negatives in Naima since she has gone nowhere. So what’s your point? My post wasn’t about Lauren. She was just an example. It was about the fact that the wildcard picks are not honest. And if you believe they aren’t about casting, then LOL.

  • Le Viet Anh Nghi

    and the best thing happened to us at season 1 as well! :)

  • Landon Cox

    Didn’t they still beat X Factor? lol

  • Tess Herself

    Of course Idol is about casting…just like any reality TV show. You have to have people who keep a “story” line going and sometimes good singers who are dull as dirt just don’t make it interesting. MY point is that no matter how you whittle down the contestants the ultimate finalists will be further whittled down by the voters…irregardless of their abilities. Fans only have themselves to blame when fodder keeps going for weeks on end to the detriment of better singers and performers.

  • Kirsten

    The road to the top 12 seems unnecessarily complicated.

    I’m glad that Idol is working to get Candice some promo. Way to support your winner!

    NYC finale? Yawn. It’s a big old concert hall. It could be in any city anywhere. It’s not like they are dancing in the streets or breaking into song at the top of the Empire State Building. Same old finale, now with jet lag! Hold it in Winnipeg for all I care.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Candice Glover gets her very own special! On Tuesday Feb 18.”

    OK, this is more like it! Candice is very talented and I’m glad to see that they are making an effort to promote her and her CD release.

  • Miz

    Idol Finale tickets have always been in demand even in the less than stellar years. They’ll have no problem filling MSG.

  • Sassycatz

    Regarding NYC … I think they’re recognizing 1) that the northeast area of the country contains a huge amount of Idol fans — the Idol tours and former contestant tours always do well there — and 2) it’s a very dense place with lots of people. So, big interest and big population.

    I’m still not understanding breaking people up into age groups at that one point in the competition. Why? There isn’t enough variation to make much of a difference. You might as well break them up based on their astrological signs!

  • Amy Beth

    Can’t wait to see the editing on Candice’s promo show and how they handle the thing that no one wants to talk about–Season 12!

  • Tinawina

    I will take every bad thing I said about them back if they do right by her. I will eat crow for months. I was so disappointed to see them openly throwing away a winner so I hope they at least give her a decent shot, chips fall where they may,.Fingers crossed!

  • Sassycatz

    Well, they kept going to Vegas during the “Hollywood” rounds for some unknown reason. I’m guessing they’re not doing that anymore — Yea! — so maybe a road trip is written in their contract and this is how they’re choosing to use it.

  • Sassycatz

    They don’t say anything about guest mentors, guest performers, or Jimmy Iovine — all of which I’m very interested in hearing about.

  • flog gnaw

    MSG; the mecca! I’m excited about that, but I can’t say I love the age groups.

  • Dakota

    I don’t see any of this as shocking changes that will drive viewers. The half hour results show was announced a long time ago. I don’t think viewers care if a finale is in LA or NY. The rest is ho hum. I don’t know if the audition episodes are fewer than in the past, but speeding through that is good. The general public also doesnt care about a Candice special when most Americans have no idea who she is

  • Dakota

    Cuz 27 is ancient?

  • Dakota

    Do you think the average viewer cares if a finale is on the west coast, Madison Square Garden or Miami? Good for Candice to get an hour promotional special but if ratings don’t pick up for Idol, it won’t matter much as only the faithful who already know who she is will watch

  • Dakota

    Isn’t that what viewers always hate? When the judges usurp their votes and the pass along their plants.

  • Incipit

    “You might as well break them up based on their astrological signs!”

    Bwahaha! I love it! Now I want a study of the prevalence of particular astrological signs in the Top 10 – in the Final 2 and in the eventual winners – 12 years is enough for a pattern. There may be an angle the odds makers have been overlooking here! *snerk*

  • Dakota

    Maybe Melanie Amaro should try to sneak in there

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Aside from a couple of videos, I’ve kept myself unspoiled for this season. I’m also wary of the very young contestants, but curious about the “changes” that will take place this season.

  • Dakota

    Well maybe they realize that part of what made Idol successful over other shows is that they actually produced some successful artists. That has weakened over recent years. You’ll note its been a criticism of the Voice although it hasn’t harmed their ratings. Danielle Bradbury seems to be doing ok and will get a big boost by being featured on the NBC Olympics coverage. I also think they have plans to market Tessanne

  • Ria.

    Idol has the best results of any of these shows. Week to week, and in the finale. Are the results 100% what I would personally chose? No. But that doesn’t mean they are a problem. I think the unlimited voting makes people more invested in the contestants they support. Limiting votes might give us the same results, but it might limit fan investment at the same time.

  • Dakota

    Thats the idea, you move to the front without having to wait in line

  • Dakota

    Well at least on XF , there is actually a large age gap when yorue talking about 12 year olds and 50 year olds. 28 year olds are now considered senior citizens?

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I hope that you’re right, but given that iTunes is sponsoring this special, it may be more about compensating for their screwing up the release of her CD back in October, so it won’t be a “regular” thing for other winners. Regardless, I’m glad that Candice will get the opportunity for some major promotion from Idol.

  • justmefornow

    There is a HUGE maturity level between a contestant at say 16 to one at 22. I think it would be to make the younger, probably less polished, especially at performing, seem less amateur and suffer by comparison.

    Later on the younger ones can get a little more comfortable performing and the difference won’t be so glaring. We’ve seem this before remember Scotty’s performance skills towards the beginning compared to the end, night and day.

  • Pat H

    That makes no difference for the Finale broadcast though. The northeast people would be watching anyway and the Nokia was always filled with many fans wishing for tickets. Filling the theatre for the finale or any show has never been a problem. I think they are just trying to change it up.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Well in the music business starting your career at 28 is definitely considered LATE.

  • justmefornow

    Exactly. I wonder who at Idol or Interscope had to twist their arms to fork over the cash, lol. Regardless, Candice benefits so good for her.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I agree with limiting the number of votes/method, but it’s not the teens who are power voting the most. lol

  • Incipit

    That may have been the wiser move, fuzzywuzzy. They don’t inspire confidence. I was checking out the threads for familiarity w/the contestants because I have no intention of sitting through those excruciating auditions, IDC until it’s live rounds.

    But I ought to have just stayed away completely until then…my bad.

  • Cecil Seay

    as a core idol fan i kinda see this as a snooze fest. other then seeing the new stage, watching candace for an hour doesn’t spark my interest in the slightest. i loved her on the show but even back then she battles for personality

  • Miz

    Very cool that they are giving Candice a special. That helps to make up for them appearing to try to sweep her under the rug.

    I don’t like the age segregation – that’s something that turned me off the X-Factor.

    I wonder how many will get Fast Passes by the producers/judges. I’m guessing 4 – one from each age group then a random favorite.

    I don’t mind them moving the Finale to MSG. I might even put in to win a free trip to it so I don’t have to pay airfare to go to my godchild’s wedding in May. ;D

  • Sicola789

    Meh I think youtubes can be misleading. I think the season has a lot of potential so far though.

  • Sicola789

    It wasn’t idol’s fault, they have no control over the album release, it’s the label.

  • Sicola789

    My take on the age groups being separated is really no different than the gender separation. It would force a wide variety of ages.

  • shell29

    I don’t think moving the finale to NYC will be that much of detriment to the finalists. They’ll probably be in NYC for a few days leading up to the finale anyway (which should be plenty of time to get over any jet lag). It’s something that the finalists will probably have to deal with in this business so they might as well get used to it now.

  • justmefornow

    It is in the entertainment Industry for trying to launch a career nowadays.

  • bridgette12

    I think Idol needs something to attract viewers to watch the show. It needs more than all of our judges love each other promotional campaign to make it “must see tv”. There is still too many audition shows, they could cut that in half and only show the serious contenders. Certainly don’t think It was necessary to divide them up according to age, unless they plan on pimping a certain age group and that wouldn’t be beneath Idol to do so. I’m going to assume they have some juniors they want to anoint the next young superstar and probably will throw others under the bus to showcase them. That wouldn’t be unusual because it’s the MO of shows of this type. Moving the finale to MSG is a good idea, because they will already be in NY and can hit the morning shows first thing the next morning and began all the promo as Idol’s next “superstars”. As for Candice, I think this special is a little late for her. But it would be something great for a winner that’s popular, so it’s something they should keep for coming seasons. What it all comes down to for Idol, is getting people to watch from the beginning and having some contestants that get the audience talking.

  • flog gnaw

    wrong reply, I think lol

  • Sassycatz

    So, they give their loyal fans in the east a chance to be in the audience. I didn’t say they couldn’t fill the Nokia, but surely many of the same people are in the audience year after year. Now, we get a mostly new, excited group.

    Also, someone mentioned that MSG is a big place and wondered if they could fill it. Well, sure they can! Idol is a popular show in the northeast and there are a great many people who would spill in from Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mass, and all the other very populated states that have easy access to NY — as long as the bridge is open. ;-)

  • Incipit

    “I don’t think moving the finale to NYC will be that much of detriment to the finalists.”

    OK, shell29. The finalists themselves will tell us, after they get out from under Idol’s ‘arm’ – Just as they have in the past. Based on what has been quoted in the past about the utter craziness in the week leading up to the Finale – I can only see this as a move for the show’s benefit, and the devil take the contestants – but that’s SOP for Idol, so no surprise to me.

  • Montavilla

    I think they vote because they like the contestant. I know that I do.

    I like many different kinds of music, so it really doesn’t matter to me what style someone sings in — unless it’s a style I actually dislike.

  • Seed

    The age group division is the most fair way they can divide the semifinalists up, IMO. If they just randomly put the contestants in groups, viewers would be saying that the producers put their favorites against the weaklings and that it’s rigged.

  • Seed

    I don’t really know what other changes they can make to pull viewers in. Idol and The Voice were pretty much neck-and-neck in ratings last year, so it’s not like The Voice is crushing Idol. All The Voice has going for it is the Blind Auditions. Once they’re over, the ratings decline. Blake and Adam bring viewers in because people like the banter between them, but if they ever leave, expect a drop in viewers.

    The best they can do is invest in a lot of current songs and cast talented, entertaining contestants.

  • DCAIfanHelsinki

    Interesting news. I don’t like the division by age, either. I find it worrying that there are so many really young contestants this year. There have been great young singers before, sure, but often they don’t have very much personality yet. Exceptions exist, of course.
    The 500th episode seems to be only an hour long. I wonder what it will include.
    I may be the only one here who doesn’t like that results shows are only 30-39 minutes long. Those are the programs in which former winners and contestants perform – plus other big names – even though I really dislike many of those “big names”. I want to see former winners and contestants perform in the show (DC definitely!:-))
    NYC – I was expecting Radio City Music Hall or a similar place. MSG’s capacity is 20,000, or more, great if they can fill it.
    I loved Candice last year – I thought the top 4 were all great – and was happy she won (wasn’t that country girl fifth?), but a full hour dedicated to her is a bit too much IMO, but I will watch that too.
    I still think last year’s poor ratings had more to do with a female Top 5 than with the judges’ bad chemistry (between Mariah and Minaj).

  • Damien Roberts

    I find the funniest part of the age thing to be that they’re calling a group of people in their late 20′s seniors.

  • bridgette12

    Dividing them up in age groups won’t stem the voices that it was rigged. There has been seasons when you could pick the winner when the auditions were going on from how they pimped them. It don’t take a genius to know that every one of these shows want to find a young superstar to brag about because they see how well teens are doing in the music business today.

  • Ronnie D

    Good for Candice. This will probably be her last major shot at pushing her album. The proof will be in the pudding as far as sales go, so we have to wait and see I guess. I’m excited about Idol’s changes this year, but it still comes down to the contestants. I’ve avoided all the spoiler threads so I have no clue what’s in store. :)

  • Montavilla

    How about alphabetically?

  • justmefornow

    LOL at the bridge being open. Christie just had a news conference about it and fired some of the peeps involved. Heading next over to Fort Lee to apologize to the mayor, lol.

  • Montavilla

    Except for Clay Aiken, who made it as far as you can go without winning. I don’t feel too sorry for Jennifer Hudson, either.

  • Incipit

    Heh. I just read up on that story, justformenow – the prediction was “There will be some sacrificial firings, and that will be that..” so I figure the bridge into Manhattan will be operating as usual for the Idol Finale.

  • Sassycatz

    I thought there wasn’t anyone over 25, which makes that description even stranger.

  • dy

    Wow. I bet fans of the last 11 winners would have loved a victory special! Took them a long time to think of that but it’s a great idea.

  • dy

    I love this idea. I loved it when they got as many as they could to sing for Simon’s last episode.

  • dy

    As an east coaster, this is the first time I’ve thought, wow the Idol finale could be doable to go to!

  • justmefornow

    It was actually just shut down for a while last Sept. not recently, but the emails about it just surfaced. Christie claims he had no knowledge about it at all and just found out about it now. Who knows? lol

  • Incipit

    Heh. Who knows indeed? I lived in NJ for almost 40 years (before Christie was governor), and I couldn’t tell you.

  • Sicola789

    I am also glad they are going back to a top 12 instead of going right to the top 10. That felt too rushed last season. I also thought it was weird how Ryan would pull them from backstage and nobody in the studio would know they made it. Maybe good entertainment for the viewers/judges in the studio, but dumb for the viewers at home. I think Nigel went senile last year.

  • usedtobelucy

    I don’t mind them trying to shake it up a bit. Hope they shake up the song list as well, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Interscope will continue to release Idol music, Jimmy will remain involved in that aspect, but Randy Jackson will be the new in-house mentor.

  • Sassycatz

    Thank you! The only downside is, I think Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope producers are horrific at making studio recordings of the contestants’ performances. They make everything sound like muzak.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I’m afraid Jimmy’s Interscope producers left the building after season 10. That experiment ended after that first season because it was pointless.

    I’m not sure who was responsible for studio recordings since then. Ray Chew or somebody else. Ray Chew was now replaced by Ricky Minor.

    I’m afraid the studio recordings will continue being terrible, unless they quit doing them. That wouldn’t be a surprise, considering the bad sales in the last few seasons.

  • gclay

    I loved Naima and she is signed to a label so to each their own

  • gclay

    I like that the Candice Special is sponsored by iTunes she’ll probs get some good promo on the front page which helps drives sales

  • LeahKittyS

    The country girl Janelle Arthur was fifth. The other country girl, Kree Harrison, was the runner-up.

  • Incipit

    Agree with that, Sassycatz. I haven’t bought an iTunes recording since he got there. But I remember DC saying they made the iTunes recordings in “Ricky Minor’s studio” – so maybe since he is back now, the iTunes recordings will improve. One can only hope.

  • Aaron Krandel

    I don’t want to believe this until something official comes out.

  • Amy Beth

    MSG has a smaller theater with a capacity of about 5,000. Maybe that’s what they’ll use.

  • Amy Beth

    They could put the numbers 1,2,3 in a hat and let the contestants pick. And televise it.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Honestly, why bother? The producers have a certain small number of contestants picked out that they want to make the TOP 10 and they will do everything they can to showcase them enough so they will make it through. The rest are fodder, there just to make up the numbers.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Why? High School and College kids are called seniors too.

  • Amy Beth

    Because perceived fairness is very important to the American TV audience.

    If there’s fodder, we want to say who it is.

  • nycguy

    They’re not doing Vegas sudden death? That was the one thing I really liked last year. But finale in NYC? Awesome!

  • Mateja Praznik

    The producers decide who is fodder. That’s how it is with shows like these.

  • Niall

    I don’t know if the ratings need to pick up a whole bunch. Something needs to stop the ratings slide that has been occurring. If they can maintain the viewership from last season I think that will be a success. A 13 year old show isn’t very likely to suddenly gain viewers regardless of how good the changes are.

  • Niall

    They can reconfigure the seating to suit their needs. It is a big venue but I think the producers want the prestige factor of being in an iconic venue in the media capital of the world.

  • b_james

    Just gonna throw this out there… Previous contestants that were 21 and younger when auditioning have included the following: Kelly, Fantasia, Carrie, Kellie, Katharine, Scotty, Haley, Angie, and the list goes on and on… This may not be such a terrible thing.

  • Niall

    I don’t think the tv special alone will be enough to carry Candice but she’s infinitely better off with it than without it. I see this as a sign of FOX finally stepping up to try to salvage the AI franchise.

  • Damien Roberts

    It definitely seems like Idol is actually attempting to strengthen its sinking ship. And after a not so great season of The Voice I think if they do it right it could go pretty well.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I agree. I hope that this isn’t an “all eggs in one basket” approach to promoting Candice and her music. She needs to appear on other televised shows to reach beyond the AI viewing demographic.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I remember that they did this in S2 for the “producers’ choice”. It turns out that all of the pieces of paper in the bowl had the same song written on them. lol

  • celxx

    Can people not read? They are only dividing them by age group until the top 12 is decide. After that, everyone will compete together, regardless of age. If anything, I think this ensures a more diverse top 12.

  • Damien Roberts

    But this is based on age…not status.

  • imozone

    When they go to the Top 16, is it so many from each group, or is it the top 16 vote getters overall? I’d hate to think they’re patterning their new format after the groups on that other struggling show… And once they have the top 16, I’m assuming America gets to eliminate 4 from the 12 who don’t get Fast Passes?
    I like the changes. Some new things to make it interesting, but not to drastic to lose the feel of our favorite show. With these changes and the new panel (“Goosies” aside) keeping it fun and entertaining, I’m looking forward to a great year of Idol.

  • Sassycatz

    They used to be good. They started going down hill once Interscope got into the picture. Since RCA was not involved in the recordings during the show, I can only surmise that it was Interscope’s involvement. With Minor back, we’ll see if they get any better.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Jessica Sanchez ?@JessicaESanchez 3h
    .@1Ladyyy @AmericanIdol I will be at the Idol premiere on Tuesday. I’m so excited to see @RyanSeacrest @JLo and @CandiceGlover! #IdolBlitz

    Retweeted by Candice Glover

    I’m not sure what this means. Isn’t the first show recorded auditions on a Wednesday? Or, is Idol moving back to Tuesday/Wednesday?

    ETA: Actually, here’s the question to the above response:

    @JessicaESanchez @AmericanIdol When is the next appearance/performance? #IdolBlitz

    Jessica Sanchez ?@JessicaESanchez 4h
    .@1Ladyyy @AmericanIdol I will be at the Idol premiere on Tuesday. I’m so excited to see @RyanSeacrest @JLo and @CandiceGlover! #IdolBlitz

    So, it sounds like somehow, Jessica will be on/at the premiere. Hard to tell from her response.

  • Mateja Praznik

    The studio recordings were always very basic and AC sounding.

  • Amy Beth

    Maybe she’s attending one of the screenings, probably the one in L.A.?

  • tripp_ncwy

    Various sites across the country have a viewing party for the premier episode with a Q&A panel livestreamed with Ryan and the judges. She will probably at the one in LA.

    http://www.americanidol.com/news/world-premiere-screening-of-american-idol-xiii-for-fans-across-the-country-tuesday-january-14

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Oh, OK. It just sounded like Jessica was going to see Ryan, JLo and Candice live. lol

    ETA: Actually, I added the question to which Jessica responded and it does sound like she will appear on the premiere somehow, but it could be at one of the screenings. Hard to tell from her response.

  • Sassycatz

    It’s my opinion that they were better before the Iovine/Interscope/Chew era.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Ryan & the judges will be live at the LA screening which will be live streamed for the public.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Ah, OK. But I guess it’s possible that Candice and Jessica will “appear” and be part of that streaming or Candice and Jessica will walk the red carpet or something like that.

  • samuelgrant

    I believe the age limit is 28.

  • Sassycatz

    I’m speaking of the age this years contestants actually are.

  • samuelgrant

    The main thing is that MSG is gigantic and will look very good if it’s full, like the UK X Factor’s finales at Wembley Arena.

  • samuelgrant

    According to Ryan, there will be multiple stages to make it quicker to transition between performances. Sounds very cool to me!

  • HKfan

    I don’t like the fact that there are so many younger contestants either. I just find that on the whole, the older (not that being in your 20′s is old),have better stage skills, have the ability to change a song up, have a better musical identity etc…most of the standout performances I can remember on Idol come from the slightly older contestants. Plus they seem to be able to handle the pressure and demands of the show better.

  • deshae78

    Wow, my head is spinning but I am loving the changes! I am also so happy for Candace that she is getting her own special…she deserves it so very much. The finale in New York LOVE IT!

  • deshae78

    I agree, it’s a wonderful idea!

  • deshae78

    Yes I agree, no other singing competition can come close to Idol. I am excited for the new year.

  • LeelaST

    Boo having the finale in NY. It’s been in LA since inception & the West Coast has always had to wait 3 hours to watch & have results spoiled. Is it remotely possible the finale will be aired live nationwide – for once?! Also changes the entire vibe from “I’m going to Hollywood” to “I’m going to NY where my dreams will be crushed in an even larger venue.” Boo.

  • deshae78

    Nothing can top Season 8 for me, ever. That’s because not only is Adam Lambert my fave Idol contestant but he is the only contestant that I actually own albums from. He is near & dear to my heart, for sure. I have also bought individual songs from Kelly & a couple from Clay but yeah Adam is it for me.

  • Roimeister

    MJ isn’t some idiot like me making up crap… trust it until it’s wrong… THEN we can give her hell about it ;)

  • MickeiKnight

    Is this on his website, idol’s site or a tweet?

  • Karen C

    Yeah, but then there is a risk that there could be more than 4 stronger contestants in one category than in another, so that there are actually contestants in one category that are weaker than those that did not make the top 12. Like, say there are 8 really strong contestants in one category, while the contestants in one category are weak. I would rather have the 8 stronger contestants get through than 4 of the stronger in one category and 4 of the weaker in another. If that makes sense :)

  • Karen C

    I agree, they were much better with Rickey Minor, and I hope they will be again now that he is back.

  • Karen C

    I also think that MSG has some prestige to some people, so maybe they think it would make it be taken more seriously, I agree, though there is a big audience in the Northeast, and this will create excitement, and might bring people to see the finale that never went before.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Heh. If it’s false? The hoax is ELABORATE. That’s all I’ll say.

  • JustJam

    Finally, the format changes that we’ve all been waiting for! I’m quite excited to hear that they’re changing the semi-final rounds, which is my favorite part of the show. I hope they make more changes for the Top 12 rounds as well. There are better ways to save a favorite contestant rather than the Judges Save option. Look at The Voice, they allowed the viewers to get involved via Twitter save. Anyways thanks for the info!

  • scoobynacks

    Wasn’t Lucy Hale on American Juniors?

  • scoobynacks

    Heh. “Nuts of wonder.” Sorry, what were we talking about?

  • scoobynacks

    You’re basically getting a bunch of kids who have been watching Idol ever since they could remember. (Ugh #WeOld) The ones who are that age are probably more in a bubble about fame and how awesome it would be to be the thing they’ve dreamt of all their lives, the winner of ‘the biggest music competition evah.’ They believe the hype and are more optimistic about their chances at superstardom. We’re more jaded to the process and know things like how Jordin Sparks got straight up turned away at a cattle call audition the first time or how Amber Riley didn’t make it. I bet there are fewer people in their 20s who haven’t tried out for Idol before that could be pursuaded to do it. Generally you’ll have been interested and tried out previously or will have already sworn it off because you consider yourself a “serious musician” whatever that means. We’ve heard in prior years about previous Hollywood Week people making it to later voting rounds. I think that’s more likely, seeing people who were ready yet and now in their 20s they’ve developed more of a voice and more seasoning.

  • Karen C

    I feel the same way about the younger contestants. There are many that would have done better if they had waited a few more years.

    I also agree about the results show. One thing that I liked that they did last year was not only bring back former Idols to perform, they did a Where are they Now. The longer results show allows them to do something like that. I’ve often thought that something like a reunion of the former top 10s during results shows would be interesting if they did one season a week, and might even increase the popularity of the show by bringing former viewers back to see their favorites, even though bringing back former idols helps this too.

    And I don’t think the problem last year was just that there was a female top 5, I think it was the manipulation was too apparent, and the week to week themes were boring. I do know several people who didn’t watch last year because of the judges who are hoping to watch this year, so I think that had a lot to do with it too.

  • Blueknight24

    That “Candice Glover Special” is like a good promo for her, but might be her first and last promo from her management, I hope I’m wrong.

  • dabney_c

    Last year’s judges made viewing uncomfortable. The show was not fun to watch because of the tension and hostility in the air.

    But that wasn’t the only problem, of course. Lack of interesting male contestants killed the excitement too. Some of the boneheaded format changes didn’t help – like the backstage reveal instead of a green mile, and a straight-to-tour top 10. No suspense, no drama, no excitement. And the in-your-face manipulations were just out of control. I hope the changes this year make all the difference.

  • dabney_c

    Question:

    If the semis are divided into age groups with no gender component, does that mean – theoretically – that there can be an all guys/all girls final 12? Or does the “fast passes” mean that the judges pick most of the top 12, and the voting public just fills in a couple of remaining spots?

  • DCAIfanHelsinki

    Yes, I meant Janelle, I just couldn’t remember her name. I didn’t consider Kree as much a country artist as Janelle, but I am not a country music specialist, I only recognize the more traditional kind of country music. Because of this, I like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, but I only know the tunes they have sung on TV, I have never heard their albums.

  • Miz

    I’m hoping that ‘goosies’ have been banned from Jlo’s vocabulary.

  • Miz

    I’ve seen her on one or two other shows promoting her single recently.

  • Miz

    Or Ken.

  • DCAIfanHelsinki

    I didn’t care so much about their bad chemistry, although I certainly prefer good chemistry among judges. Maybe this year there is, at least Urban and Connick seem like good guys.
    Now I have to confess that I don’t remember or maybe even know what a green mile means. Or what the backstage reveal was…

  • Miz

    Not even ‘late’ 20s.

  • Miz

    MSG capacity 18,000. Still a lot.

  • Madilo

    Carrie has great songs on her last album, listen to Cupid’s Got A Shotgun or Leave Love Alone.

  • Madilo

    Yeah it’s a good idea.

  • nycguy

    Fast track means the judges will put through somebody they like but don’t believe will get enough votes on their own. This isn’t such a bad deal if the contestant is really good but the public may not get behind at first, like a Joshua Ledet. But if it’s someone quirky and stupid like Charlie Askew, then nope.

  • myers

    You cant forget about season 6 with Jordin Sparks!!!!!!

  • Karen C

    I don’t really know, but that is an interesting question. Even if they split the semi-finalists, the four that go through could potentially be the same gender. Unless they are just going to pass 2 guys and 2 girls from each group during the semifinals.

  • Tess Herself

    One year they chose 3 finalists from each group and they had to be a 2 and 1 split with the other 3 being chosen as wild cards. Bet they do something similar.

  • Mateja Praznik

    That was season 8. Dire format. 3 groups of 12 semifinalists, mixed gender. From each group highest male and female vote getter progressed and the next highest vote getter. The result? The next highest vote getter was male from all three groups. Then the judges added 2 male and 2 female wildcards, so there were 8 male finalists and 5 females. Only 3 females made it to the TOP 10.

  • Incipit

    OMG, I remember that! The format was so dire, the performances so spread out, that I completely lost interest, and didn’t even watch that year…that was Warwick, that and Season 9 with all the acoustic guitars that he later disavowed…then they brought Nigel back.

    There’s a lot of ways to screw this up – hope they know what they are doing.

  • Kariann Hart

    I was thinking the same thing. That is NOT a positive change. I hope all changes are for the good of the show. I am excited for Idol to begin!

  • Kariann Hart

    Anny_nanny, I don’t think I liked two country singer finalists in Season 10. Neither was my favorite, either, so it wasn’t as exciting as some of the others.

  • Kariann Hart

    I think it was a combination of both. There were some people that wouldn’t even tune in because of Nicki. The TOP 5 probably lost many because they were all girls. I hope it will be a terrific season – Idol needs it!

  • Incipit

    Just thinking The 500th show is on May 15th – if they are planning to make a ‘thing’ out of it with past winners – I hope this production crew is organized enough to contact them now – not at the Last Possible Minute!

  • Kariann Hart

    Wasn’t that a problem for David Cook attending Simon’s last show?

  • Incipit

    Yes, it certainly was. By the time Idol figured out they wanted to do something, and finally asked him, he had a commitment to the Shadow Buddies charity weekend in KC.

    With a finale planned in NYC this year, and even more winners to co-ordinate, I hope someone on the staff for the New PTB has a planning gene!

  • springboard2

    This also how I see it.

    America never has a say in these shows though, since they are not democratic political elections, and only representative of America in the producers’ mouth as a PR exercise. Only a small percentage of a TV show audience votes with a system of heavy multiple voting that is not considered democratc in America, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

  • Anny_nanny

    Season 10 is the only one that I didn’t watch the Top-2. But before this episode it was one of the most entertainment seasons.

  • Ivan Guzman

    Hah!

  • Ivan Guzman

    Just a few days before the finale, the contestants will be flying home and back for their hometown visits. Then, a few days after that they will have to fly across the country to New York, with all the stress that must be ALREADY piling up from the finale. Hmm.

  • Ivan Guzman

    I still listen to Haley’s studio recordings. Safe to say she had the best studio recordings in Idol history.

  • wordnerdarchie

    There are others that are really good. Some are still being played on the radio today, 5 years after being released, or used as music tracks for Nationals/Olympic skating competitions.

    ETA: In case you want to hear one of those tracks. ;)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B07h9eg8EGo&sns=tw