June 21st, 2010
04:10 PM ET

Seacrest tweets an 'Idol' surprise

Change is coming to “American Idol.”

The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, sent a cryptic tweet on Sunday announcing the audition cities as well as a coming announcement.

“Just got audition cities for @americanidol 10: Nashville, Milwaukee, New Orleans, E. Rutherford, Austin & S.F.,” Seacrest posted on Twitter. “Tmrw [sic] announcing a big change!”

Turns out the change is that the age limit for aspiring contestants has been lowered from 16 to 15, as Seacrest later tweeted Monday.

“A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16,” said "Idol's" executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz in a statement posted on Seacrest’s site. “Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool.”

Could this be an attempt to bolster ratings that last season started to slide? And is it a good idea to open the competition to those younger than 16?


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soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kim

    ugh. was hoping the tweet was about upping the age limit. It's already too "teenagey" for me anymore. Can't wait for Simon's new show!

    September 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joyce

    The show has become nothing but a popularity contest. If you come from a large city and you're NOT gay, you have a good chance of winning. The only reason I watched it this year was because it was Simon's last year on the show.

    July 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    Well everybody the show won't be the same without Simon, and just to be fair, up the age limit if you're going to lower it. The show is losing quality fast. Oh and by the way that picture of Ryan Seacrest at the top LOL!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Just another sign that Idol has no understanding of what is wrong with the show. The survey they did near the end of this season also have the appearance they really missed some of the biggest issues. This season had "No Personality" at least that was my opinion and seemed to be the common thread of complaint, and right from the first auditions anyone that tried to "Show Personality" was told they were not serious enough about this and not invited to Hollywood versus past seasons where they were given the chance to sing again in a more serious manner. Now the auditions are subject to heavy editting and the completely different feel to the auditions this season may be more an editting decision that something that actually occurred but it certainly appeared they made a conscious decision to be more serious. Norman Gentle and Tatiana would never have gone to Hollywood this year. For myself i enoy the judges feedback more than the performances (since only a few performances a show are ones i look forward to, but enjoy most of the feedback bits) so making sure the shows are long enough to give them enough time is important to me. Also Ellen needs to learn to comment from a non-technical point of view, she seemed to be parroting things she'd heard judges say in previous seasons or earlier this season when commenting on performances. Even if she DID know they were pitchy, that's not what she's there for, there are people in the industry capable of giving feedback on that. Whether it's the producers or herself her opionions were oftem just filler taking time away from the other judges. And i'm a fan of hers for over 20yrs (Hello God It's Ellen...i still laugh jjust thinking about that routine) I wish idol the best of luck...but there's a good chance i'll be bowing out of viewership unless they have an couple unique talents in the show next year to make it worthwhile. Sitting through judges heaping the "it's amazing because you're so young" week after week when the talent isnt there in any apparent sense is just too frustrating. I mean yes...people can sing...and maybe 1 out of 10 can sing well enough not to get booed off stage and 1 out of 10 of those can sing well enough to sound good to the untrained ear. I think after that it's just all personality. There's nothing special about miley cyrus's singing, but she does have an infectious personality (on stage at least...off stage is another story) and i can understand the appeal. I would think you could find a better "Singer" in most any high school in the country, what makes a talent unqiue is the abilty to connect with the audience and i'm not sure idol realizes this, though the judges do bring it up now and again.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kit Kat

    Rather see the OLDER more developed artists..the youngsters are just that..youngsters w/o a developed sense of artistry (uless they are MJ who was forced into it at a young age)

    June 22, 2010 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nealw

    Another dumb idea by Idol. They should raise the age, not lower it. This show is headed down the tubes big time and fast.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Emmaleah

    I'd like to see 15-21, and then a lower-key show for mature contestants. It feels like those who really want to make it big–and who have what it takes–will have seen a chance by 21. I want to see those who are really just coming into their potential. To me, that's a real pleasure, watching young people stretch their wings. I'd like to see them put through their paces with various classic pieces as well as rock, including Broadway and movie-musical songs, so they get some music history as well.

    For mature contestants, I'd love to see them tour the club circuit and be mentored by all kinds of experts from stylists to vocal coaches–they should have their weak points strengthened. When you're older, a chance to relive some youth is more interesting than some "get up and mangle a song" contest. I'd like to see the resilience and experience of those contestants leveraged into a show about the whole business.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    Bad idea. Idol has seen more than one teen who couldn't hold up to the incredible pressure. They should raise the age to 18, not lower it. This is just exploitation.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pat

    For the most part, the younger singers don't have fully developed voices yet. They also haven't experienced enough life yet to make their presentation heartfelt – like a love song, or a song of real betrayal, etc. If anything, I'd like to se the age limit go up to at least 30.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sarah

    People need to stop acting like 15 year olds are little kindergarteners. I'm 15, and I've been taking vocal lessons since I was six, and I've been waiting to audition since I started watching Idol at age 10. And I feel extremely discouraged about auditioning because I'm worried about so much criticism just because of my age.

    Think about this: Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus wouldn't have gotte to where they are now if people didn't support them and buy their CD's. I honestly don't like either of them. But their age isn't the problem; it's their ability.

    Anybody see Greyson Chance lately?! He's 12!! Why is everyone amazed by him, yet they criticize Justin Bieber for being too young?! So many of you are using double standards, when in reality, it's ability that matters, not age.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • oh crap

      Greyson Chance > Justin Bieber... that's obvious.

      June 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      Could it be that he plays an instrument and utilizes his strong vocals? Could it be that he doesn't need Usher behind him? Hmmm. Good question there, Sarah... :P

      June 22, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • poop

      if thats the case then monkeys can play the banjo and humans are the ones who throw poop.fact is,teenagers are annoying as hell always babbling on about "i want your love"or poop like that.i see it coming.5 yrs from now justin beaver is gonna be Lord GoGo. we are doomed to flinging poop!!

      June 23, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. becky

    The revenue stream is a lot longer for those younger than older folks. They are making a lot of money over 'they hope' a very long time....

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. oh crap

    That means more Justin Biebers...

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. huh?

    I'd like them to start charging money (charity) for calls and votes. Then, someone can get legit votes, and not votes because they are "cute" or "Hot"; or they have beatiful hair..

    June 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      * I meant Calls and texts.

      June 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Niki

      What an excellent idea!!! A great way to raise money, and you're right, also a great way to filter out the "silly" voters... hopefully.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    Let us frustrated 50somethings compete. There is a lot of talent out there. Much stronger than 15 year olds!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caustic

      Yes, because old codgers singing Rodgers and Hammerstein "numbers" out of tune = ratings!

      September 23, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Christine

    I rather see the age limit go up then go down. I think 15 years old can wait. They can spend that extra year letting their voices develop and be normal teenagers while those older than 28 who voices have fully develop and don't have that extra time to chase their dreams should be given a chance.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. MattK

    Age discrimination... Up the age limit as well. There are more older talented singers out there as well. Probably more so than the 15 yr old crowd...

    June 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  17. chicagoannie

    I'd rather see OLDER performers than more teen-agers. American Idol has gone down for the count – show is not good anymore.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |

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