New American Idol Producers Freshen Up The Song List, Allison Iraheta Joins as Backup Singer

The Hollywood Reporter preview of American Idol XIII, premiering Wednesday on FOX, notes the new producers, attempt to update the music catalog.

Oh, and another little tidbit: Season 8 alum, Allison Iraheta will sing backup for Rickey Minor and the band! (Rickey is rejoining Idol after 3 years as leader of the Tonight Show band)

…Hollywood Week saw group numbers of songs like Lorde’s “Royals” and Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” an EDM hit. “It was a concerted effort to get fresh music into the show,” says Ignjatovic. “We want to reflect what’s popular today.”

When later speaking to THR, Lopez cited Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and newcomerAriana Grande as “pop stars,” yes, but also “great singers.” Another plus, said Lopez: “There’s exposure to so many different types of music that anybody can do anything; That’s what’s being reflected on the radio right now, you’re seeing a lot of variety.”

Interestingly, the kids don’t always go for the contemporary hits. According to THR, plenty at Hollywood still went for classic hits like the Jackon 5’s “I Want You Back.” For instance, Pink’s “Give Me a Reason,” on the list, was left untouched.

One thing The Voice chart transparency has taught us, that while the show boasted contestants singing contemporary hits, it was typically oldies like “Hallelujah,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “I Have Nothing” that shot to the top of the iTunes chart. Savvy competitors will keep that fact in mind.  The producers plan to ditch the restrictive themes in order to give the contestants more song choices:

Perhaps it’s a way of testing someone’s ability to make the right song choice in a relatively unrestricted environment. As the insider explains, the directive by Idol’s new team is to allow “more wide-open themes” so that “everyone will always be able to sing whatever song they want to do.”

It will be interesting to see exactly what executive producers Per Blankens (Swedish Idol), Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager (MTV’s Den of Thieves) , and FOX sports guru, David Hill bring to the table this season.

“Our motto this year is back to basics,” says Blankens. “We think that this is the best show there is — the original that’s inspired others — so it’s not that viewers necessarily want that big gimmicky change in order to come back to the TV couches. They want to see the show they’ve grown to love.”

Prager, whose production role is on the floor while Ignjatovic’s is in the control room, agrees. “We’re finding the elements that we want to reinvigorate, but each one has to check all those boxes of what makes ‘Idol’ great.”

Via The Hollywood Reporter

About mj santilli 35002 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!