January 5th, 2011
12:14 PM ET
"American Idol" is getting a major face-lift. Besides new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, a slew of other changes are in store for the next season.
For starters, expect a fresh new set that will also show off new musical director Raymond Chew, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
As has been rumored, the elimination process will be much swifter, with the singing competition skipping the Top 24 and going directly to a Top 12 (or 15 – producers are still deciding). In addition to choosing their favorites via text, viewers will now be able to vote online as well.
The contestants themselves will experience even bigger changes. Besides living together in an "Idol" mansion, they will have the chance to perform original songs and may even make music videos.
And when it comes to theme week, "We’re not going to ask a country singer to sing an R&B song, or an R&B singer to do Led Zeppelin,” says Interscope/Geffen/A&M music exec Jimmy Iovine, who will help mentor the hopefuls. “If the theme is ’80s or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, every song will be customized to that contestant.”
And there's great news for the show's fans: No more months-long wait for music from their favorite singers – songs will be released as the season progresses.
"The sands of time are slipping through the hour glass," explains Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair, "and you want to capitalize while the public is so engaged in the story of winning or losing.”
Season 10 of "American Idol" premieres on Fox on January 19.
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