Changes in store for the next season's American Idol

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 6th 2007 10:21AM
Is it ever too early to talk about American Idol? The next season won't start airing until January, but the rounds of auditions have already swept the country. And, it seems there will be some changes to the format of the show. In an interview with The New York Post, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said things are being shaken up a bit this season.

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.

In real time, the show is into its Hollywood phase right now although we won't see it for a few months. Lythgoe said that 160 hopefuls will be going to Hollywood at the end of this month. From there the field will be narrowed to the top 24 -- evenly split between the boys and the girls.

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.

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Please, no more sentimental, sappy, bombastic big power ballad as the potential winner's song. A Moment Like This sounds forgettable and Disney like now. And This Is My Now is slightly better, but will sound stiff 5 years from now. Get something current or danceable to match with the singer's personal vocal style. No, it doesn't have to sound like Rihanna's hit Umbrella, but find something good and supple.

January 08 2008 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that we do need to know the contestants more, what makes them tick, what made them decide to sing, their musical and vocal influences and where do they see themselves 10 to 20 years from now in show business. The mentors of those big name artists were way too much last year. It seemed like Idol's producers kept the contestants completely private and shielded from the viewing public. No, this shouldn't be a vanity thing, but we need to know their personalities before we make fun of their hair, their face, their appearance when they perform in the competition. Those producers are so wrapped in this perfect pop singer look for these contestants that the background segments seem faceless and anonymous. They need to step back and calm down a bit.

January 08 2008 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope american idol is better than last year,I always go to the concerts,but I wouldnt of wasted my money on them this year.....

December 01 2007 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Glen Pierce

Please no more Blake Lewis or Sanjuia or what ever
his name is, bring back Melinda Doolittle and give her
another try.

November 27 2007 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Side Show Bob!

I say bring in some new judges! The ones they have now have become so "readable" in their judgements, it take away from the talent that is trying to win. Who wants another season of Paula Abdul "moon-eyeing" every male contestant, and Randy, with his "hip-hop" lingo and demeanor is also becoming a "show in itself", then there's Simon, and he can take his condensending attitude and stick it where the sun don't shine! Get some fresh meat in the compound as far as the judges go, That's a change to make, not if a contestant can play a musical instrument!

November 20 2007 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I think they should do is not show the people and only hear their voices. Isn't that what this show is about? Their voices? Put them behind a screen and just hear their voice and then when it's down to 12 or 10, then show them. Oh and I agree that the voting thing has to be changed, also.

November 20 2007 at 6:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the addition of instruments is a really great idea. Unless you went to the "American Idol" concert tour this summer (or did extensive research), most people probably had no idea that Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson, Phil Stacey, and Chris Sligh played instruments (and played them very well, I might add). Some of them, including Blake and Chris R., play several instruments. It would have been great to have seen them play them on the show. Most people have no idea that, according to all of the other season six finalists, that Chris R. is a brilliant songwriter. Little tidbits like this could have been aired on the show, but weren't.

I also like the idea of getting to know the contestants on a more personal level, like the way we were introduced to Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, and Kellie Pickler. They had great stories behind their great voices, and great personalities as well.

I do agree that there should be a limit on the number of times you can vote on the show. I know that there were a lot of Sanjaya fans out there who hit the 'redial' button hundreds of times during the 2-hour-long voting period. So, if someone only voted for Gina Glocksen twice, but another person voted for Sanjaya Malakar 672 times, the results don't really provide an accurate account of who America likes more.

I think these changes could definitely help spice up the show, and help bring it into an age where personality and musician-ship have become increasingly important.

November 09 2007 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Granny J is correct. The voting system needs to be modified....Mayby limit the number of votes from one telephone.

November 07 2007 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me dust off my Tuba!

November 07 2007 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should show more behind the scenes stuff like all the fights and things that goes on.... Please you know they are all fightings name calling and talking bad about eachother.. that's what make reality shows so good. come on I would have been really happy seeing Melinda call Jordin a fat cow or something.

That's what makes them tick!

November 07 2007 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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