American Idol Premiere Set for January 12th
The new season of Fox's monolith, American Idol will have a four-hour, two- night premiere that will begin airing on January 12th. Following the always entertaining and occasionally painful open audition rounds, 12 male and 12 female semifinalists will be announced on February 17th, and voting will begin on February 23rd.
Simon and Randy remain as judges this year although rumor has it that 2010 may be the last Idol season for Simon. Cowell is preparing to bring his UK hit the X-Factor series to the US in 2011. Kara DioGuardi remains as well, not that her presence seemed vital as part of the judges panel. She added little to the mix, but at least she has a solid music business background to add some validity to her input.
Ellen DeGeneres replaces Paula Abdul this year. Abdul announced her departure from the show amidst a contract dispute earlier this year. Paula will be missed by contestants and viewers alike. She was the perfect Yin to Simon's Yang and provided a warmth and caring to the contestants many of whom are young and green.
Ellen will not appear until February after the tryout rounds, and her lack of music backround leaves a question mark as to why she was chosen as a panel judge. Perhaps the hope is that she will add a comic factor to the proceedings.
Guest judges at the auditions will include; Mary J. Blige, Avril Lavigne, Joe Jonas, Katy Perry, Shania Twain, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris and Victoria Beckham.