In an exclusive interview with TV Week, Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment for FOX revealed a couple more surprises in store for Idol viewers this season:
- “ThereÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s a big surprise coming when we get to the top 12, but I canÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t reveal it right now,” says Darnell. He says the contestants will be surprised, too.
- The kids are going to live in a house this season. (They lived in a mansion seasons 1-3.)Ãƒâ€š “Plus weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll be doing more behind-the-scenes stuff with the kids, and theyÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re going to live in a house, so if anythingÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’if sparks fly there, weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll show some of that. WeÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re hoping to get more of who they areÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’more of the reality version, to be honest with you. It makes the show tick,” says Darnell
- Kelly Clarkson will appear on the show in the next couple of weeks.
- Darnell says musicians will have to be “ridiculously big” in order to be considered as mentors for the show.
It appears that the producers are bringing more reality elements to the show.Ãƒâ€š Instead of being able to retreat back to private apartments when their long day is done, the cameras will be following the contestants back to a house, hoping to capture some shenanigans, manufactured or not.
I’m not sure I’m likin’ that. Personally, I think there’s enough inherent drama in the kids struggling to make it in the competition from week to week. The producers should spend more time highlighting the contestants themselves, rather than fake drama.Ãƒâ€š And like most reality shows, most of it will be manufactured for the cameras. Bleah.
In the meantime, Darnell is pretty happy with the way things are going so far
Well, weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve done everything we can. Of course we added a fourth judge and weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re hoping that that changes the dynamic a bit, because what weÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve noticed with her is that sheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s very good. SheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s aggressive, she will fight with Simon, sheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll bond with Paula, sheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll fight with Paula, and what itÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s doing is itÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s taking the group dynamic and changing it. And I think the audience is ready for that. They donÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t say the same things over and over again, because sheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s inserted a different voice and that just by itself has made it moreÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’sort of new, and it really is working so far.
Darnell says something I actually agree with.Ãƒâ€š The rest of it? Bah.