Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eight Major Changes for "Idol" This Year

I have started to put my thoughts together for my very first “Herald-Dispatch” “Idol” column in a few weeks. But every time I come up with something good, everything changes again.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the season of change. And in this week’s issue, “The Hollywood Reporter” has the details on the eight biggest changes. But the website is giving us a sneak peek today.

Here are those eight changes, most of which we had already heard:

1) The set is getting a major update.

2) The elimination process is getting sped up, although it’s still unclear how much. According to the “Reporter,” the audience will set the semifinals but the Top 24 may go directly to 12 or 15 without any voting.

3) Online voting will most likely be introduced.

4) The finalists will live together in a mansion.

5) Producers/Songwriters handpicked by in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine will serve as mentors throughout the season. On board so far are Rodney Jerkins, Ron Fair, Timbaland and Alex Da Kid. The mentors will help the contestants choose their songs and then arrange and produce the musical accompaniment. The report says it will be “a prerecorded track augmented by a live band.” And, contestants will not be limited solely to cover songs.

6) The theme weeks will be completely different so as not to make a country singer do a rock song, etc.

7) Music videos are still a possibility, but no final decision has been made.

8) Finalists will release music as the season progresses instead of waiting until the fall.

The article promises some more interesting tidbits, including who else was considered for the judges table. I’ll bring all of that to you as soon as I get my copy. I’m hoping my mail carrier doesn’t lose this one like she did the last two week’s issues…