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There have been several changes between last season 11 and this year's season 12. The judges panel looks almost completely different. New faces include Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. Randy Jackson continues to be the last remaining judge from the original panel. Jimmy Iovine should be back to mentor this season as he has in season 10 and season 11. Ryan Seacrest is also back to host.
There are all kinds of reports Minaj and Mariah Carey feuding. Apparently they have made up but I can't see that not continuing once they get to the live shows.
Other things of interest are the audition rounds and tie breakers with 4 judges.
2. Tie-breakers are tricky: Despite the producers’ best efforts to balance the judges’ opinions, veto and golden ticket power seem to be an issue. As executive producer Nigel Lythgoe explained, in every audition city, when the vote was split two and two, they would alternate which of the judges “would carry the vote across.” Be the experiment turned out to be incredibly predictable. “It didn’t work because whichever way that particular judge voted, they continued to vote that way [and] not send them through, so two people were always pretty angry about that.”
Another problem American Idol has been dealing with is criticism because of their latest string of winners only being "white guys with guitars". Idol has attempted to fix the situation to allow for more competition.
5. WGWGs? Check. Lythgoe readily acknowledges, “We had a real spate of ‘white guys with guitars.” To tackle the problem, the show will be dividing potential finalists by gender, putting through an equal number of guys and gals until they reach the Top 10. Also new: a “nominate a loved one” option, which Randy Jackson helms during auditions, giving several lucky auditioners a jump to the front of the line. But ultimately, it’s about giving the contestants time to develop and finds their own voice
Not sure how I feel about just keeping an even number of guys and girls. I usually like the judges to narrow down the best of the best to get us to the live shows. But I see that they need to do something to try and get a different style of winner again.
Previous Winners :
Kelly Clarkson - Season 1
Ruben Studdard - Season 2
Fantasia Barrino- Season 3
Carrie Underwood- Season 4
Taylor Hicks - Season 5
Jordin Sparks - Season 6
David Cook - Season 7
Kris Allen - Season 8
Lee DeWyze - Season 9
Scotty McCreery - Season 10
Phillip Phillips - Season 11
All signs point to this being the season for a girl to break through and win again. Idol is trying hard to make that happen.
Starts next Wednesday night.
This post was edited on 3/13 at 7:18 pm