Ryan Seacrest interviewed Ken Warwick on his radio program today. Ken says the “new rule” that will be introduced tonight came about to solve a “problem that’s been around since Season 1.”
Ken says they tried the rule out in the French version of Idol first.
Listen to the interview:
According to the Wikipedia entry for Nouvelle Star, in the last series, the judges were able to exercise a one time veto on an eliminated contestant at any point in the competition. The judges used their veto during the first week, sparing a contestant named Kristov, who was eventually eliminated 3 weeks later.
According to poster Valentin432, here’s how the new rule worked in France:
The judge get a veto power, it means that they can save one contestant during the whole season.
It works the following way, after the contestant(s) was eliminated, the judges have a meeting and decide if he is worth saving or not. If they decide he deserved it they give him another chance and the following week they start the show with the same contestants.
If it is a one-time only veto, I’m still not liking it, but I can live with it–much better than a weekly sing-off between the bottom dwellers, with the judges choosing who goes home.
Of course, the American version of the rule might be tweaked a little. For instance, a double elimination would occur the next week to make up for the reprieve since AI cannot be extended another week.
If a rule like this had been in place in prior seasons, Tamyra Gray, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Michael Johns, and Constantine Maroulis may have lasted on the show longer…
But then, what’s American Idol without it’s yearly shock boot? That’s controversy right there. And AI thrives on controversy…