Fox has announced American Idols tenth season will feature 20 semifinalists and a single gender-balanced semifinals performance round which will end with home viewers and new judging panel members Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler jointly determining the seasons finalists.
American Idols revamped tenth season which will premiere on Wednesday, January 19 at 8PM ET/PT and mark the debut of the shows new Wednesday/Thursday broadcast schedule will begin with eight episodes covering last summers audition tour.
Then, beginning Wednesday, February 16, Fox will air four additional episodes which will chronicle the competitions Hollywood Round and new Las Vegas Round and conclude with the unveiling of the seasons Top 20 semifinalists 10 guys and 10 girls at freestreamline.co.cc on Thursday, February 24.
Filmed in December, the new Las Vegas Round featured the Hollywood Rounds final 60 contestants traveling to Vegas and performing Beatles songs on the same stage where Cirque du Soleil performs LOVE, the performance troupes new Beatles musical, and ended with the judges narrowing the tenth-season contestant pool to 40 hopefuls.
Once the 20 semifinalists are revealed, American Idol will air a pair of back-to-back semifinals performance shows on Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2 that will be followed by a live results show which will announce the seasons finalists on Thursday, March 3.
The five male and five female semifinalists which received the most home viewer votes will automatically advance to Idols tenth-season finals, however once they have been announced the judges also select an unspecified number of special Wild Card picks to round out the finalists, according to Fox.
Foxs announcement brings an end to months of conflicting rumors and reports some even based on prior premature comments from the shows producers about American Idols tenth-season format, which will also feature Jimmy Iovine (the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, the shows new record label partner) serving as a new in-house mentor, Ray Chew serving as the shows new musical director, a new set, and the contestants living together in a mansion instead of hotel rooms.
In addition, the season will also mark the return of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, the departures of former Idol judges Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres, and debut of the shows new reduced 15-year-old audition requirement.
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