Changes in store for the next season's American Idol
In the upcoming season, if a contestant plays a musical instrument, they will be allowed to show off their talents in addition to singing. That's a big change from the past.
There will be fewer mentors such as Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, etc., used as they took attention away from the contestants. Mentors will still be used, but it won't be a weekly practice such as in previous years. Instead, the show will focus more on the kids themselves -- what makes them tick, their backgrounds, and such. The Idol tour for the top ten this season may be combined with the top group from So You Think You Can Dance because, after all, singing and dancing go together.
Lythgoe said of the hopefuls, "There are three girls who are superb including one girl we saw three years ago who wasn't an American citizen [at that time]." He also was quoted as saying they've got one or two guys who are very good.
The Hollywood phase will be the testing ground for contestants who play musical instruments, but Lythgoe didn't give any set rules to how they'll go about it.