BREAKING: Idol Schedule Set – Auditions Cut Back, Hollywood Round Expanded, Top 36 Coming to Hollywood, Wildcard Round Brought Back!

Snipped from an internal FOX Memo distributed this morning. (thanks sumIdol!)

FOX Network Program Executive Council

AMERICAN IDOL When will the schedule and any new details about this season be released?

January through March details will hopefully be released before the Holidays. All episodes will be Tuesday-Wednesday. No Thursday planned; same overall number of hours as last year. There will be 3 weeks of auditions and 2 weeks of Hollywood rounds. There will be 36 contestants coming here to Hollywood as opposed to 24 last year. There will be a wild card week and there will continue to be 12 contestants in the Finals. There will be a couple of more 2 hour shows than in the past. Promotional thrust will have fewer bad singers and more ‹aspirational singers. There will be no Idol Gives Back.

So, lets summarize!

  • American Idol will be sticking to its Tuesday/Wednesday schedule – Not a surprise
  • There will be 3 weeks of auditions, down from 4 the past few years –   YES!   Four weeks of auditions, particularly with the bad singers taking up the bulk, had become interminable.
  • There will be a Top 36, rather than a Top 24 – Hm…
  • The Wild Card Week will be re-introduced- Hm…
  • No Thursdays planned- and Hm…
  • There will be 2 weeks of Hollywood Rounds – In the past, there would be at least 3 episodes of Hollywood, which made for some really compelling TV. I think the show really suffered when they cut these back to shoehorn in more crappy auditions.   This is good news
  • There will be a Top 12 as in previous years – Just as it should be.
  • Promotional thrust will have fewer bad singers and more ‹aspirational singers. There will be no Idol Gives Back.   –   Fewer bad singers?   Hallelujah.   It was getting to the point where I could not stomach the auditions anymore, they became so predictable and contrived.   I wonder if the death of auditioner Paula Goodspeed has impacted this decision at all.   With a tough economy gripping the nation, giving Idol Gives Back a rest is a good idea.

I’m a little unclear as to how the Semi-final/Wildcard round will play out.   It’s not really outlined in this memo.   Will they go back to the way they did it Seasons 1-3–which was to have groups of contestants perform each week, with the Top vote getters moving on to the Top 12?   The Wildcard round had rejected contestants come back to perform again, filling the remaining Top 12 slots…

Peeps, what do you think?

About mj santilli 35006 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!