American Idol 2011 Premiere Preview
American Idol’s new season is set to premiere on January 19th and a lot of changes are being made. We already know about the basic stuff. Obviously there was the major change in the judges so we now have Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson. They had also previously announced a couple of different ways they plan to eliminate some contestants including a ‘sing for your life’ segment when they get paired down to 40 contestants. But recent days have seen more leaks about what is going tobe changing so let’s take a look at what they have in store.
For starters they are changing the American Idol set with a new updated look that will include a new location for the band. They are also going to speed up the elimination process so that we have more time to get to know the final12-15. This will mean that the Top 24 will be cut directly to the final 12-15 instead of the slow, steady eliminations they have had in the past. Voting will now be opened up online. In a throwback to the early seasons of the show the final group of contestants will be moving into a mansion together. They used to do this and we would get footage of them living in the house and dealing with each other. The producers want to bring this back. It seems like this is another effort to help us connect with the final group.
Another new thing is that they are going to offer the singers original songs to sing. They can still do cover songs, but will also have these originals available to them. They will also now have well know, very successful, music producers such as Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and Ron Fair acting as mentors to the contestants. The producers will help with song selection as well as musical arrangement and aspects of the contestant’s performances.
The long standing traditions of theme week in American Idol will continue, but they will get a makeover. They will be matching songs and styles to the singer so that a country singer during rock week still has a country style song etc.
There has also been talk of making music videos as one of the challenges so we can see how well the contestants can act when called upon to do so in a video. They have also mentioned maybe having back ground dancers and larger production numbers.
The last major change is that they plan to release music from the American Idol contestants a lot sooner. The contestants will release music as the season progresses instead of waiting until the entire season is over then recording some stuff and releasing it.
It sounds to me like some of these could be good points and some of them sound like they are borrowing heavily form Simon Cowell’s X-Factor which he will bring to the US this fall. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
American Idol debuts on January 19th on FOX.
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