In an exclusive interview with TV Guide, Nigel Lythgoe revealed some major changes for Season 10 of American Idol:
- There will be NO TOP 24. That round is completely eliminated. Nigel says, “I didn’t think [the top 24] were very good, I was bored with them by the time they got there”
- It’s unclear what will replace the Top 24. Will the judges choose the Top 12? What will replace the episodes that cover the early voting rounds? Nobody is elaborating.
- The contestants will be challenged with contests like making the best music video, working with a band and dancers for an awards show-style performance. Sounds like there could be a new challenge every week.
- As previously announced, theme weeks will focus on decades rather than a particular artist. Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Geffen A&M records will act as in-house mentor
- Nigel says they are seeing an even wider range of talent than in previous seasons, including country, indie and jazz singers. (But, when has this not been true?)
- Nigel notes they’ve been sending more contestants on through to Hollywood.
- American Idol returns to FOX on January 12.
So what’s going on here? Dancers? Award type performances? Is Nigel a little nervous that the big production values of the upcoming Simon Cowell production, X Factor– slated to begin in fall 2011–will steal his thunder?
And exactly HOW will the Top 12 be chosen? Hey Nigel! When you cut So You Think You Can Dance down from 20 to 10 contestants, that didn’t work out so well did it? Hm.
Nigel is planning a stop at the View tomorrow, plus he’ll be conducting a press conference on Friday where I’m sure more will be revealed.