Recent remarks made by Mike Darnell and Ellen Degeneres, hint strongly that the producers of American Idol will bring back the Top 24 format for Season 9 of American Idol.
When Ken Warwick took over executive producer duties after the exit of Nigel Lythgoe at the end of Season 8, he made some boneheaded decisions–the worst was the return of the clunky Top 36 format, a terrible format that robbed viewers of the opportunity to get to know the contestants.
Well, the eagle-eyes at Vote For The Worst noticed one tiny line at the end of this Variety article about the hiring of Ellen DeGeneres. Addressing the issue of when Ellen would join the judges panel, Reality cheif, Mike Darnell says, “She will absolutely at a minimum be there for the boy-girl rounds”
There’s even more evidence the Top 24 will make a return. During a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest on Thursday, newly-hired 4th judge, Ellen Degeneres, appears to slip the news. Joking about their friendship, Ryan says they’ve been hanging out, but now he’ll be seeing her every Tuesday and Wednesday. Ellen corrects him, “We’ll be hanging out for 3 days, for the first three weeks, there’s a boys night, girls night and a results night…” Ryan mumbles, “You know better than me, ” and lets it drop.
Eep! I hope hope hope this is true! When Nigel introduced the new Top 24 format back in Season 4, it instantly transformed the show for the better. Whittling down the pack, rather than voting people in, meant we saw contestants perform several times over the course of the semis. Plus, bringing back the boy-girl format means there will be gender-equality once again in the Top 12–not a bad thing.
If it’s true, I’m going to be even more excited for the start of Season 9…
ETA: Could this also mean the end of the wild card? I’d love to see the power given back to the people, rather than the judges padding the Top 12/13 with their favorites…