TV Week Interview with Mike Darnell: “Thereà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s a big surprise coming when we get to the top 12”

In an exclusive interview with TV Week, Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment for FOX revealed a couple more surprises in store for Idol viewers this season:

  • “There a big surprise coming when we get to the top 12, but I cant reveal it right now, ” says Darnell. He says the contestants will be surprised, too.
  • The kids are going to live in a house this season. (They lived in a mansion seasons 1-3.)   “Plus well be doing more behind-the-scenes stuff with the kids, and theyre going to live in a house, so if anything’if sparks fly there, well show some of that. Were hoping to get more of who they are’more of the reality version, to be honest with you. It makes the show tick, ” says Darnell
  • Kelly Clarkson will appear on the show in the next couple of weeks.
  • Darnell says musicians will have to be “ridiculously big” in order to be considered as mentors for the show.

It appears that the producers are bringing more reality elements to the show.   Instead of being able to retreat back to private apartments when their long day is done, the cameras will be following the contestants back to a house, hoping to capture some shenanigans, manufactured or not.

I’m not sure I’m likin’ that. Personally, I think there’s enough inherent drama in the kids struggling to make it in the competition from week to week. The producers should spend more time highlighting the contestants themselves, rather than fake drama.   And like most reality shows, most of it will be manufactured for the cameras. Bleah.

In the meantime, Darnell is pretty happy with the way things are going so far

Well, weve done everything we can. Of course we added a fourth judge and were hoping that that changes the dynamic a bit, because what weve noticed with her is that she very good. She aggressive, she will fight with Simon, shell bond with Paula, shell fight with Paula, and what it doing is it taking the group dynamic and changing it. And I think the audience is ready for that. They dont say the same things over and over again, because she inserted a different voice and that just by itself has made it more’sort of new, and it really is working so far.

Darnell says something I actually agree with.   The rest of it? Bah.

About mj santilli 35052 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!