American Idol Spoilers: Rumored Format Changes

Vote For The Worst received an anonymous tip about how the Top group of contestants will be selected on American Idol:

Apparently, 242 people have received golden tickets to Hollywood. The Hollywood episodes are supposed to feature Q and A sessions and workshops so the viewers will get to know the contestants. 40-50 contestants will be featured prominently in the episodes, and viewers will be able to vote via online ballot for their favorites. The 12 highest vote getters will advance, with 3 more contestants advancing to the top 15 via a wildcard with Jimmy Iovine and the judges.

MEGA Show Preview: 13, A New Musical
MEGA Show Preview: 13, A New Musical

Everything about this scenario seems plausible, except I find myself raising an eyebrow at the “online voting” deal. Idol has always resisted internet voting. AT&T is one of their big sponsors and it’s hard to believe they would not be involved in the voting process somehow. But, hey, you never know.

Again, anonymous tip, totally unsubstantiated, so take with a grain of salt.

About mj santilli 33693 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

16 Comments

  1. Seems plausible. The wildcard ensures that if a favorite slips up they can still stick them back in. I wonder if it will actually be highest vote getters, or the 6 highest males and the 6 highest females.

  2. I’m wondering with this format, if it’s true, how many actual performances we’ll see before they get in the top 12. And the workshops may be the competitions like the music video one they were describing.

    The only way I could see this working is if they do get to do at least one semi final performance. I can’t see them doing this for 50 people, with the q&a and other workshops they are talking about. So, potentially someone could get through to the top 12 with only one or two weeks of live performances, and none before they were selected.

    Overall, the only good thing as a viewer is that I usually end up comparing the show to my favorite season, and it sounds like this year will be so different there will be no comparison. Maybe that’s the point.

  3. Thanks for the post.. grain of salt or not.

    Hmmmm I wonder if they will push some content online. There is no reason why they shouldn’t. In fact it would be a smart thing to do. Additional revenue from online sponsors.

  4. Seems plausible and kinda interesting. I was wondering what they were going to do with those 3 weeks that we would normally vote through the top 20; top 16; top 12.

  5. But if they go to a Top 15, that means they’ll keep the 14 weeks of voting. It will be just like the Semi-Finals/Finals, but with just one person a week going home. I was hoping for some sort of expanded Hollywood round to get down to the Top 12. If they’re going to give us an adequate presentation of 40-50 contestants, they’ll have to devote a couple weeks of shows to it. perhaps sliming down the judge audition shows?

  6. Online voting? That raises a lot of question for me, but I will wait to express my concerns till we get something more official.

  7. Online voting? That raises a lot of question for me, but I will wait to express my concerns till we get something more official.

    DWTS already uses online voting. You must register at the website and are limited to a certain number of votes each week. Sure, this can be somewhat defeated by using multiple email addresses. But, people who would do that already are using auto-dialers and multiple cellphones in regular voting. Online voting in the case of Idol is an attempt to get back into relevance with younger viewers. They want the public, especially the younger demographics, feel that they are more involved in the process.

  8. Online voting in the case of Idol is an attempt to get back into relevance with younger viewers. They want the public, especially the younger demographics, feel that they are more involved in the process.

    Interesting point. I have been thinking that the reason that American Idol is popular with the adult demographic is because we are used to hearing about new music on TV, but the younger demographic is used to hearing about new music online. Really, I always heard about the latest artists on MTV, and before that, it would have been Ed Sullivan, American Bandstand, Soul Train, and some other tv shows. Now I think a lot of launching new artists is internet based, and not on tv, and that’s what teenagers may be used to.

  9. This just seems weird to me. I love the top 24 format. Couldn’t we just have fewer audition episodes and then devote a week or two to this BEFORE the semifinals?

  10. That would be terrific, Bjames, I would like that too. If we got to vote on the top 24.

  11. This is plausible because it has already happened, on Australian Idol. Same deal – contestants were shown in “interviews” with a rep from the record company, the judges and guest singers, where they were asked about why they were in the competition, what they wanted to achieve, etc. I found it to be a pretty good addition to the way in which the contestants were whittled down. It also quickly exposed how some contestants were just not ready or suited for being in the public spotlight (let alone being a ‘star’). Australian Idol was also the first of the Idol formats to introduce musical instruments. So I’d give this “anonymous tip” some credence.

  12. if this turns out to be true, i am excited. my big gripe the past few seasons and esp. last season was that i didn’t agree with the results of hollywood week and had problems with the group given to us at the beginning of the live shows. as a viewer, i wanted either more input or else somehow a better selection process by the judges themselves. so if this works out, it addresses my big concern with the show of late. i still think the new judging panel is not gonna make it. that little clip nigel lythgoe ran on The View last week did nothing for me. it was a zero. ryan seacrest being there will help. without simon cowell, it’s a whole new show so it’s just wait and see…maybe the show will survive but the new judges will probably be the weakest link. i hope they’re only signed to a one-year contract so more tinkering can be done if they don’t work out.

  13. HOPEFULLY the initial voting system will let through 6 guys and 6 girls. Otherwise, if it is the top 12 vote getters regardless of gender, we all know it will be mostly male, no matter how good/bad they are and the good girls get robbed(Like season 8). I kinda like this idea IF it has a fair gender balance.

  14. bagel08:
    11/24/2010 at 12:18 am

    HOPEFULLY the initial voting system will let through 6 guys and 6 girls. Otherwise, if it is the top 12 vote getters regardless of gender, we all know it will be mostly male, no matter how good/bad they are and the good girls get robbed(Like season 8). I kinda like this idea IF it has a fair gender balance.

    I don’t actually like the equal gender balance as some great singers usually miss out because of equalisation. Season 8 was a very strong season so I don’t think having a couple more males hindered then season whereas last year didn’t they go back to 6 guys & girls – didn’t necessarily help the season! I think the most important thing is to have the best idols put through along with having a variety of styles

  15. I will miss the TOP 24 format, but Simon is shaking up the whole process. I also question any type of Internet voting since so many people could not get through to vote for DWTS. At this point, all we can do is wait and see.

    I felt there were a few guys in Season 8 that didn’t belong there, while some great girls were cut. It was a good season, but more girls would have made it stronger, IMO.

    Here’s hoping the new judging panel WILL work out!

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