Here’s the American Idol 11 schedule through March, when the first week of finals begin. There are no changes to the format from last season.
There are 8 audition episodes (including a special episode to air after the NFC Championship game on Sunday January 22). Three Hollywood Episodes, The Las Vegas Performance challenge (Top 60 sing 50s songs, reportedly) and the semi-finalists reveal.
The semi-finals will once again be sudden death, with the Top 24(?) performing over two nights. The second semi-final show will be a special broadcast to celebrate American Idol’s 4ooth show.
The finalists will be revealed, including Judges’ Wildcards on Thursday March 1.
The finalists will perform for the first time on Tuesday, March 7, with the results show airing the second night on March 8.
Read the press release below:
The incredible journey is about to begin as American Idol, America’s No. 1 show, returns for its remarkable 11th season. Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and returning judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, American Idol is set to return with a two-night event showcasing the nation’s most extraordinary talent Wednesday, Jan. 18 8/7c and Thursday, Jan. 19 8/7c. Auditions will continue with a special, extended primetime broadcast of AMERICAN IDOL Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC Championship Game on FOX.
The show’s judges – Jackson, Lopez and Tyler – traveled to Savannah, Aspen, Galveston, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis in search of contestants with the raw talent and potential to become the next American Idol. Auditions continue on Wednesday, Jan. 25 8/7c and Thursday, Jan. 26 8/7c; Wednesday, Feb. 1 8/7c and Thursday, Feb. 2 8/7c; and Wednesday, Feb. 8 8/7c on FOX.
The contestants who impress the judges will head to Hollywood and be put to the ultimate test during the “Hollywood Rounds,” airing Thursday, Feb. 9 8/7c; Wednesday, Feb. 15 8/7c; and Thursday, Feb. 16 8/7c.
On Wednesday, Feb. 22 8/7c, those who make it through Hollywood must then take the “Performance Challenge,” where they face the judges one last time before the top male and top female semifinalists are revealed on Thursday, Feb. 23 8/7c.
The judges have their say after every performance, but it’s the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of the competition and who will go home. In the milestone 400th episode, airing on a special night, Tuesday, Feb. 28 8/7c, the first group of semifinalists will take the stage to sing for America’s votes.
The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 29 8/7c, the remaining semifinalists will perform. The competition takes an intense turn on the two-hour LIVE results show Thursday, March 1 8/7c as America’s vote reveals the first set of finalists, then those that remain will have one last chance to perform for the judges who will round out the 2012 American Idol finalists with their wild card picks.
The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists take the stage on Wednesday, March 7 8/7c. One finalist’s journey will end as America’s vote is revealed on Thursday, March 8 8/7c.
Wednesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1 – Savannah, GA
Thursday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2 – Pittsburgh, PA
Sunday, Jan. 22 (10-11PM ET/7-8 PM PT) San Diego Auditions (Special Broadcast)
Wednesday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM) Aspen Auditions
Thursday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM) Galveston Auditions
Wednesday, Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM) Portland Auditions
Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM) St. Louis Auditions
Wednesday, Feb. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1
Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2
Wednesday, Feb. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 3
Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM) Performance Challenge
Wednesday, Feb. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists Announced Part 1
Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) Semifinalists Announced Part 2
Tuesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists Perform
Wednesday, Feb. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM) Semifinalists Perform
Thursday, March 1 (8:00-10:00 PM) Results Show; Finalists Announced & Judges’ Wild Card Picks Revealed (ET live/PT tape-delayed)
Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform
Thursday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show; First Elimination (ET live/PT tape-delayed)