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Wednesday
Jan122011

Fox Announces 'American Idol' Changes; Judges Meet the Media

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Zumobi(PASADENA, Calif.) -- Viewers will notice a few changes to American Idol once it debuts its 10th season next week.

At a Television Critics Association meeting on Tuesday in Pasadena, California, Fox announced that only 20 semifinalists -- 10 guys and 10 girls -- will be selected following a special Las Vegas round, during which the hopefuls will perform Beatles songs on the stage of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles-inspired LOVE show.  The brand-new Vegas round will follow the Hollywood round.

In addition to holdover Randy Jackson, the show has a new judges' panel that includes Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, all of whom addressed reporters at the TCA panel.  Lopez said she and fellow newcomer Steven Tyler will bring a fresh perspective to the show.

She said, “We’re artists, we’ve been up there, we’ve auditioned, we’ve been through the rank  [Steven has] toured for, what, 40 years....There’s nothing like having that type of discussion with another artist to help you grow.”

Jackson says viewers will see a different side of him this season because of all the changes, describing himself as "more of an assertive dawg."

American Idol premieres Jan. 19 with auditions in New York/New Jersey.  The Hollywood round begins Feb. 16 and the Vegas round starts on Feb. 23.  The 20 semifinalists will be chosen Feb. 24, and the 10 finalists -- as well as the judges' wild-card picks -- will be announced March 3.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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