American Idol Season 12 which premiered January 17, featured new judges and changes in the show revealed by Nigel Lythgoe, the show’s executive producer.
Joining original Idol judge Randy Jackson are the new faces that will sit next to him on the judging podium: Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.
Besides the new judges, Lythgoe announced the changes including dividing singers by gender during the early Hollywood Round and expanding the Las Vegas Round to two weeks, starting the semi finals with 10 singers instead of 12 or 13 (judges’ wild-card picks are out), going out to cities and occupying football stadiums for auditions, and beginning the “I nominate” portion wherein a shy talent can be discovered through a nomination by friends or family.
The last two are the show’s ways to look for potential “Idols” in distant areas previously not reached by the show. According to the producer, this has helped “introduce new talent” to the show and allows it to more properly represent the American populace. Lythgoe also said that the new format “really gave us an awful lot more focus on our talent this year that allowed us to see the woods through the trees.”
The high-rating show is hosted by Ryan Seacrest.