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By Suzanne

Randy Jackson of American Idol

Interview with Randy Jackson of "American Idol" on FOX 1/8/10

I was not able to participate in this call, but here's the transcript of the interview for your enjoyment. I don't watch American Idol, but I know it is very popular with everyone.

 FBC PUBLICITY: The American Idol Call with Randy Jackson January 8, 2010/2:30 p.m. EST

SPEAKERS
Randy Jackson
Alex Gillespie

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for holding. Welcome to the American Idol interview call with Randy Jackson. I’d also like to remind you that today’s conference is being recorded. I’ll now turn the conference over to Alex Gillespie for opening remarks. Please go ahead.

A. Gillespie Good morning, good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. Sorry about the slight delay. I’m going to put Randy Jackson on the phone. Just a reminder that American Idol starts next week, we have a two night premiere on Tuesday, January 12th and Wednesday, January 13th. If you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to contact the Idol PR team and we’ll be happy to service you. We have photos posted on our Fox Flash Web site, so feel free to go there and download those as well. Without further ado, I’m going to introduce Randy Jackson.

R. Jackson Hello. How are you guys? How are you doing?

Moderator We’ll go first to Michael Weinfield with the Associated Press.

M. Weinfield Randy, after all these years of listening to these auditions the first few weeks, are you growing more inpatient with the contestants who obviously can’t sing but just want their 15 minutes?

R. Jackson You know, that’s one of the best questions I’ve had in quite some time. And, yes, I am growing a little impatient with that because you know, look, you’ve watched the show. You know what the show is. You see every year somebody great wins the show, the top three or four or five or top ten people are all usually great singers and you just wonder what are they seeing that I’m not seeing? It’s like we’re not on the same page here, so, yes, I am getting a little impatient with that.

Moderator Next we have Antonia Blyth with US Weekly Magazine.

A. Boyth So can you just tell us a little about working with Ellen and what that’s been like, maybe give us an anecdote about how her and Simon are getting along.

R. Jackson Listen, next week, which is Hollywood Week, will be our first time really sitting down with her because she didn’t do the auditions on the road. We had guest judges. We had many great ones, including Mary J. Blige, Victoria Beckham, Joe Jonas and Katy Perry, and Shania Twain and so on and so on, but she’s great. We’ve had a relationship for a long time. I’ve known her for quite some time, so has Ryan Seacrest. So we’re really good friends with her. I think we’re going to have a very funny, interesting season ahead of us. There will be a lot of laughs.

A. Boyth How was it working with Victoria Beckham?

R. Jackson It was cool. I gave her the nickname Lady V, so hopefully she goes out into the world and uses that, but it was cool. I think all the guest judges on the Idol auditions gave a different perspective because they’ve all been performers with different types of music and go on stage and record and everything. So she was actually really cool.

Moderator Next we have Erica Futterman with the Rolling Stone.

E. Futterman With all the…guest judges you just referenced, obviously Paula is not going to be among them. What do you miss most about working with her?

R. Jackson The Paula thing is really near and dear to my heart. She’s one of my best friends. I talked to her a couple of days ago. We speak all the time. The whole thing started with me, Ryan, Simon and her, so she’s one of our best friends and she still is. I miss that. We look down the table sometimes and go, wait a minute, where’s Paula? I expect to hear something from my left ear and I go, wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like Paula. So it’s going to take a little getting used to, but we’re really sad about that. But welcoming Ellen to the fold is a good look. She’s funny. She’s charismatic. She’s really cool. She’s my home girl from Louisiana like me, which we love Louisiana, right? So it’s going to be a very interesting, funny, different season Idol, season nine.

Moderator We’ll go to Katie Byrne with MTV News.

K. Byrne I saw a quote in Entertainment Weekly that Ellen was saying that if Simon ever left the show that she would be out, too. I know there are a lot of rumors going around. What’s your take on the rumors about Simon possibly leaving after this season?

R. Jackson You know, I really don’t know. Until I really hear it from him, I’m not going to believe any rumors or anything. There are so many rumors and speculation about everything going on. The thing that I’ve just been saying is that we have an exciting, very different season nine going on to the show. I think it’s the best talent show that there is and I’m just looking forward to the season because the rumors just get so wild and crazy, you just don’t know what to believe.

K. Byrne Right, and I know you were saying that you loved working with Paula. There’s also talk that Paula might be up for a spot on the U.S. X Factor, one of Simon’s other shows. Would you like to see her back in her judging seat for that?

R. Jackson Yes. Look, she’s one of my dear friends, so I wish her the best in the world. I know that she’s going to be back in something in a huge way because she’s mad talented. The thing that I always say about this genre or about anything in the music entertainment side is expect the unexpected. You never know.

Moderator We’ll go to Brittany Kaplan with CNN.

B. Kaplan So we’ve seen on the cover of Entertainment Weekly and Wall Street Journal today that Ellen is calling Simon mean, which is a big surprise. Everyone is calling him mean. But is this going to be new? Is this going to keep going where everyone is calling him mean again? Is he really mean or is he just a big teddy bear behind the scenes? Is this going to be ongoing?

R. Jackson Look, he’s not really mean. I love his phrase. You can quote his phrase, “I don’t mean to be rude, but.” He’s honest from his perspective. Sometimes it’s maybe a bit harsh, but some people call that real. I don’t know if he’s meaner than he’s ever been. I’m not sure I would call it mean. I would just call it very stern.

B. Kaplan Are they going to have the same relationship and dynamic, do you think, as he and Paula did? Or do you think it’s going to be a little bit different?

R. Jackson Oh, no, it’s definitely going to be a different dynamic, I mean completely different people. Ellen is different than Paula. She’s going to interact with Simon and interact with me and Kara very differently. It’s going to be a very interesting, wild, crazy, exciting season, I think.

Moderator Next is Andrea Dresdale with ABC News Radio.

A. Dresdale We’ve been talking a lot about the judges and the dynamics between you all and the panel, but there are the contestants and there’s some singing.

R. Jackson I like you! I like you!

A. Dresdale Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the kind of contestants so far? Have there been any trends, and what are you eyeing? I know that you recently were quoted as saying you really hope a girl wins this year. Are there a lot of promising women?

R. Jackson Yes, because the thing is the last couple of seasons boys have won. So I said that at this last season, scratching my head going, dude, where are the girls? Where have all the ladies gone, come on, what are we doing? I think there’s some really talented girls that showed up this time. I also think that what changes the show from year to year are the contestants that we get. And it’s smart of you to really pinpoint that because this year, you would have thought there would have been a lot more theatrical, a lot more Adam Lambert or Kris Allen types that would have showed up for the auditions. But that’s not what happened at all this time. Usually whoever wins or comes in one and two, that next season of auditions you have a lot of those kinds of people. It’s almost like there was a signal to everyone at home that was like them, now it’s time to try out for American Idol, but it didn’t happen like that this time. So I think we have a very interesting, unique cast that’s really only unique to this season nine. I think it’s going to be really, really exciting and very different.

A. Dresdale So what kind of musical trend are you seeing? Are there people who are really influenced by Lady Gaga or are they singer/songwriter types?

R. Jackson No, I think all the Lady Gaga and all those people, you need the stage and you need a whole performance and props and different outfits to do that. I think what is really interesting to me is I think, this season we have some really good bona fide stand-in-your-shoes singers. So without all the props or all the affectations or any of that stuff, so I think it’s very interesting. It’s going to be different to see how it pans out and who stands the test of time because sometimes these contestants that you think are great, once they get actually on the show and the show is running and they’re on live TV, some of them crumble with their nerves and everything. But we got some really bona fide singers this time, I think.

Moderator We’ll go to Jessica Herndon with People Magazine.

J. Herndon Talk to us about some of the guest judges that will be on the show this year, specifically Shania, Neil Patrick, Katy, Joe Jonas, what were their strengths as judges?

R. Jackson Listen, they all brought something different to the table. The first few you’re going to see on Tuesday starts in Boston with Victoria Beckham. People know her fame from the Spice Girls. They probably know more of it as being Mrs. David Beckham. These are all performers in their own right that have achieved high acclaim and massive success in the entertainment field. I think they all brought something different. I think you’ll see even their judging styles are a little different. I think Simon has said he thought that people were a little bit more in the Fear Factor zone of Mary J. Blige just because of her presence. She’s like that kind of demanding artist. I think all of them, I think Shania brought something different, I think Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne brought something really different and unique. I think surprisingly for some people, they probably would be surprised at what Joe Jonas’ input was and also Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Chenoweth. So they all gave a different perspective.

What I like about the guest judges is that they all come from some singing, live performance background, so they know what it’s like. So it was a really good audition season, I have to tell you.

J. Herndon Getting a little bit more specific, when you say Katy and Avril were different, I’m sure they were different than, say, like Neil Patrick’s style. In one or two words, how would you describe their difference?

R. Jackson I think what people don’t expect is, they don’t expect these artists that have these huge pop careers to really, really know what they’re doing and what they’re talking about and what’s going on because I think people lose sight of that. They just get involved in the hit song. If you sat down and really, and you watch Katy or you watch Avril or any of these people that we had as guest judges, you realize that their success is based on, that they actually know what they’re doing. They actually know how to critique because in order to make it to any of these levels where a Katy or Avril, for instance, have made it, you have to be able to critique yourself first, so that you improve. So I think it’s an eye opener because I think people take for granted that well, they just had a hit song, whatever, what do they know. But they actually really know what they’re doing. It wasn’t an eye opener for me, but I think for a lot of people watching, they’re going to realize and go, wow, they really are cool. They really do know what they’re doing.

Moderator Next is Andrea Reiher with Zap2It.com.

A. Reiher Can you just talk a little, was there a particular city that stuck out for you as being just a real hot bed, gave out a lot of golden tickets or conversely one that was maybe was a little thin on the ….?

R. Jackson I have to tell you for me I thought Orlando was really strange, just in terms of the talent and who came out and what was going on there. I thought it was a little strange of a place, but I think Dallas was good. I think surprisingly Atlanta was actually really good. I’m just saying surprisingly because I know it’s the hometown of Ryan Seacrest, little dig, all fun and games. But I actually think probably Atlanta was one of the standouts for me, actually. Dallas was really strong as well, I felt.

Moderator We’ll go to Richard Huff with the New York Daily News.

R. Huff You mentioned Paula being a friend and the whole Simon speculation stuff. Has that been a distraction at all to you folks as you went through these cities and now even when we’re still talking about Simon?

R. Jackson I don’t know if it’s definitely been a distraction, certainly not for me. But I think just in terms of the show, I’m sure it’s pretty much a distraction because I think people get a little sidetracked with that. As someone mentioned on the call before, there are contestants. Wait a minute, this is a singing competition. Wait a minute! What is this really about? Not to belittle what we do because I think the show is completely about the four of us judges and Ryan and also the contestants. But let’s also focus on what we’re judging and what the actual more meat of the show really is, so it’s about finding that next superstar talent.

Moderator Next we have Darla Atlas with the Dallas Morning News.

D. Atlas I wanted to follow up a little bit on the fact that you said Dallas was one of the standout cities. Can you describe some of the people that you saw or why it stands out in your mind?

R. Jackson I think the funny thing is that we never know which cities are going to turn out to be where there’s going to be more of a broader range of talent. I think Dallas definitely showed and proved for me this time, you may talk to some of the other judges and they may differ, but I think Dallas and Atlanta were two standouts for me because you never really know what to expect because I can remember times that we were in Texas that it wasn’t good. I can remember times like the first season and it was amazing because we found the lovely, majorly talented Kelly Clarkson. It goes in and out. I can remember a time in Houston when we thought, what are we doing here, man?

D. Atlas So when you look back on all your seasons on the show when it rolls around again to start the audition process, do you have to psych yourself up, like here we go again? Or is it always new enough that it’s exciting again?

R. Jackson I think it’s always new enough for me that it’s definitely exciting again. As I say, not knowing what to expect, you go into these cities. I think the first city you’ll see on Tuesday is Boston. When we were there, we fell into our groove. It takes us a while because we’re not together all the time, even though Simon, Ryan and I are the best of friends and we see each other off season a lot and we hang out a lot. But it’s like riding a bike. You just jump back on, you’re like, dude, this is it. Yes, what?

D. Atlas I’m looking forward to seeing the show, thank you.

Moderator We have Mark Perigard with the Boston Herald.

M. Perigard You were just talking about Boston. I wanted to press you on that if I can get a sense of what we’re going to see in that premiere in Boston here.

R. Jackson Well, let me just tell you something, absolutely breathtaking, beautiful scenery you’re going to see because it’s a very beautiful city and the place that we shot, it was just breathtaking views. But Victoria Beckham was with us there and it was surprisingly a good town for us. We figure out the east coast, sometimes we do New York. We’ve done Philly, DC, and this time Boston. But it was actually surprisingly good. We didn’t know really what to expect. Boston being for me because I’m a musician as well as a producer and songwriter, but having Berkeley School of Music and that kind of heritage and the Eastman’s and all that kind of stuff going on there, you just expect this virtuoso talent. I thought Boston was really, really, really good.

M. Perigard Does that mean we’ll see a lot of golden tickets?

R. Jackson I don’t know about a lot of golden tickets, those tickets are hard to come by. You have to show more than just the talent for those tickets. But I think there were quite a few golden tickets from Boston.

Moderator We’ll go to Jolie Lash with Accesshollywood.com.

J. Lash So speaking of contestants, how about Adam Lambert and what he has gone on to do, what did you think of his AMA performance and how he’s eclipsed your winner, Kris Allen, there?

R. Jackson Adam is a giant personality. He’s unbelievably talented. The AMA thing, I guess, was something that he wanted to do and try. An artist is really left up to their own ideas of how they want to do things and whatever. I think he’s a big personality. He’s a far bigger, probably, personality than Kris, but I think they’re both equally talented. Kris obviously won for a reason. You’ve got Allison, she has her record out, too. I wish them all well and the best. They’re all immensely talented, Danny Gokey, we had a lot of talented kids this season.

J. Lash Who do you think we’ll be seeing more from in the future from that bunch?

R. Jackson I don’t know. I think probably those four that I mentioned in some facet you’ll be seeing a lot from, Adam, Kris, Allison and Danny.

Moderator Next we have Rodney Ho with Atlanta Journal Constitution.

R. Ho I wanted to get a little more detail about Mary J. Blige. You mentioned the fear factor there. Did you really get a sense, was she really that tough on the contestants or did she just—

R. Jackson No, she wasn’t that tough, but Mary is a serious stand-in-your-shoes performer. She is not a performer that is going to use a lot of props to make her show or make you enjoy the show better. You’re really going to enjoy her voice. I was just driving in the car the other day and her version of One with Bono came on the radio. You’re talking like that, like you’re not seeing different, weird outfits or weird dance moves. It’s not about that. She’s the stand-in-the-shoes kind of singer, so I think a lot of kids that came in know that and they were like, whoa, this is Mary J., do you know what I’m saying? We have to show and prove now. It was just good. It was a good thing. It was good thing for these kids to step up and rev up to.

R. Ho It’s interesting, you’re only seeing a small sliver of the people who actually try out. Do you think the producers sometimes just mess with you guys by bringing in ten bad singers in a row just to drive you guys crazy?

R. Jackson I often sit there sometimes and think somebody is playing a trick on me. Somebody is trying to drive me out of my mind.

R. Ho They’ve never owned up to it, I’m sure.

R. Jackson No, they never would, trust me, dude.

Moderator We’ll go to Pat Healy with Metro Newspapers.

P. Healy Are there any specific themes you’re looking forward to with the new season, any crossover with the kids from Glee or anything crazy like that?

R. Jackson I often look more forward every season now, probably from the fifth season on, I’m really interested to see the kids sing current music. Because winning this show or coming in wherever you come in in the rank of the top ten or whatever, the only thing that you know for sure is you’re going to get a shot to go up against your contemporaries. So I’m loving hearing them sing their contemporary songs trying to do it better than them and have put a new twist, a new spin on it or whatever to see how they stack up in the real world today. So I’m always looking forward to that every season now from season five on.

P. Healy Is there anything that you guys have set as parameters yet or does that go—

R. Jackson Yes, we have a couple of interesting wrinkles. I think you will like a lot of the themes.

P. Healy Can you give us any clues?

R. Jackson Watch on Fox starting January 12th.

Moderator We’ll go to Gina Scarpa with Realitywanted.com.

G. Scarpa Let me ask you a question about someone like a Chris Daughtry, an Adam Lambert and a Carrie Underwood that really becomes a big household name. How early in the competition do you feel like you see them as being standout performers?

R. Jackson I’d like to say honestly for me, I saw Adam day one the day he auditioned. I saw Kelly Clarkston day one the day she auditioned; Carrie Underwood, day one, the day she auditioned; Chris Daughtry day—I think these people, I truly believe that stars are really born. I think they’re definitely cultivated and you can help them manifest into bigger and brighter stars, but I think those things are born. I think you know when you hear them that they have something special and some kind of unique persona.

Moderator Next is Joey Guerra with the Houston Chronicle.

J. Guerra You’re dogging Houston, man.

R. Jackson It was so funny, man. Houston was so funny that time we were there. It’s one of our fondest memories for lots of reasons. Listen, we have to come back, man. That’s all it means. We have to come back.

J. Guerra That’s what I’m saying. I told Simon that last season you have to come back to Houston.

R. Jackson Yes, we’ll make it back there, man.

J. Guerra My question, I know we’ve been talking a lot about Ellen, but I think one of the concerns that I think a lot of the harder core fans have is what she’s going to bring to the show, actually, as a judge because you obviously have the experience of being a musician. Simon has been in the industry. Kara is songwriter. But what do you think specifically Ellen is going to actually bring to the show?

R. Jackson I really, really think, and I know it’s been talked about a bunch and what she’s going to do and how she’s going to judge and all of this. I think her being just a die-hard music fan and loving music and just being a really smart, talented person herself because she’s a performer and entertainer as well, so she knows about performing and entertaining because this is how she’s made her career and a very amazingly successful, great career. So she knows about that and her loving music, I think she’ll give the expertise from being a fellow entertainer that’s hugely successful where all of these kids want to go. They want to be entertainers, as well as great singers.

I think she’ll give that lay person at home view. That somebody sitting there saying I know about entertaining and this, but you guys may think these vocals aren’t good. But I actually thought it was really good. So I think she will give the home viewer a real voice to be on the judge’s panel.

J. Guerra Right, we have to see you back in Houston soon.

R. Jackson Dude, let’s do it.

Moderator We’ll go to Lori Acken with the Tribune Media Services.

A. Gillespie Just to let you know, we only have time for a couple more questions.

L. Acken As the TV ads are showing right now, a number of Idol’s past contestants and winners have really in a short amount of time achieved remarkable, remarkable things. I was watching television with my husband and he wondered outloud whether because some of them are from really small towns, whether these people would have eventually found fame. Or is American Idol is that bottle that captured that lightning at that moment? What is your take on that?

R. Jackson I think American Idol is that lightning that captures the moment for those that can’t. This show is definitely a rocket ship to the top. If you wanted the quickest road to stardom, even though it’s immensely difficult because you’re in front of 25 million, 30 million people a night and they’re judging you twice a week and you have us judging you very harshly and sternly, so you’re putting your soul before the public, but I think it’s the rocket ship to the top.

Now is it the only rocket ship? No, somebody like Jason Razz didn’t need it. Fallout Boy didn’t need it. Lady Gaga or Beyoncé, they didn’t need it. But for those that need this boost that didn’t have it all quite together, and what I mean by all together, those people that got signed, those bands and all those artists that I mentioned came in with hit songs that were undeniable because that’s the insurance for a label when they sign and ….has great talent and great possibility, they still need to have that hit song that’s almost like the, if you will, the collateral. So, yes, these people never would have been discovered unless they could have pulled it all together. And it’s hard to pull it together in a small town with not knowing who, what to find a hit song and nobody is paying attention to you. So yes, they needed the show.

L. Acken You’ve got some people who really validated the show, some really impressive things.

R. Jackson Yes, we were very blessed and very proud, actually, of every one of them.

Moderator We’ll go to Anthony Jones with AHN Media.

A. Jones I have a question. This is American Idol’s ninth season now. Its popularity has just been unwavering year after year. But do you think it’s something that can fade or do you see an end to it at least for you at some point?

R. Jackson Wow, that’s a big, loaded question. I think Idol is the best show of its kind ever. I think it can go on for quite a long time. I don’t know when the end for that is. I haven’t really thought about my end for it. I’m contracted for quite a, a couple more seasons. So it’s really hard to predict, but I think the show can really go on for a long time. I think it’s the best certainly music reality show that’s ever been a music TV show.

A. Gillespie Our last question, Kathy.

Moderator That will come from Marc Wilkofsky with the Soap Opera Weekly.

M. Wilkofsky We’ve learned that Carrie looks for artistry and Simon doesn’t want a karaoke or cheesy nightclub act, but what are you personally looking for in a performance?

R. Jackson I’m looking for the big three. The big three to me is you have to have undeniable talent. You have to have something that makes you unique and you have to have some star persona.

A. Gillespie Great, thank you, everybody, for joining us.

R. Jackson Thank you so much.


RANDY JACKSON
(Judge on AMERICAN IDOL)

Randy Jackson, a Grammy Award-winning producer, is a 20-year music industry veteran. He started out playing bass guitar at age 13, and got his big break when he joined the band Journey. He spent eight years as vice president of A&R at Columbia Records and four years as senior vice president of A&R at MCA Records.

Jackson has recorded, toured and performed with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, *NSYNC, Madonna, Elton John and Destiny’s Child. He has worked on more than 1000 gold and multi-platinum albums, and his contributions have helped to sell more than 200 million albums worldwide. With his talent, expertise and experience, Jackson is one of today’s most highly regarded music industry experts.

He launched his own radio countdown show, “Randy Jackson’s Hit List,” for the Westwood One Radio Network and serves as an executive producer on the cable series “Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew.”

Jackson has authored the books “What’s Up Dawg? How to Become a Superstar In The Music Business” and “Body With Soul: Steady Your Sugar, Cut Your Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health.”

In addition, he is involved with numerous charitable organizations, including Save the Children, The Gibson Foundation, The Lili Claire Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House and NARAS Music for Schools.

Jackson lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

ABOUT AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 9

THEY ALL START SOMEWHERE…

“AMERICAN IDOL” RETURNS

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 AND WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, ON FOX

Ellen DeGeneres Joins the Judges in Hollywood

Top 24 Semifinalists Revealed Wednesday, February 17

Voting Begins Tuesday, February 23

Finalists Revealed Thursday, March 11

Finalists Perform for First Time Tuesday, March 16

The wait is almost over for the return of television’s No. 1 show! AMERICAN IDOL is set to return for its much-anticipated ninth season with a two-night premiere featuring extraordinary talent and outrageous new auditions from Boston Tuesday, Jan. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Atlanta Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:15 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

After the two-night premiere, auditions will continue for three weeks starting with the Chicago auditions on Tuesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing from Orlando on Wednesday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). Then, Dallas auditions will air Tuesday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 27 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and “The Road to Hollywood” auditions on Wednesday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

This season on AMERICAN IDOL, the good, the bad and the awful audition for their shot at stardom. In the audition cities, Ryan Seacrest hosts, and Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will be joined by rotating guest judges Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain who will help select the hopefuls worthy of the “Golden Ticket” to Hollywood.

The lucky auditioners who get the judges’ approval then move on to the “Hollywood Round” where contestants vie for a semifinalist position during the next phase of the auditions. Once in Hollywood, Ellen joins Simon, Randy and Kara as they continue to winnow down the competitors to a select group of performers who will get to sing their hearts out each week in front of a studio audience and television viewers.

The “Hollywood Round” episodes will air Tuesday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); Wednesday, Feb. 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); and Tuesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). On Wednesday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), dreams come true for 24 contestants, as Simon, Randy, Kara and Ellen announce the Top 12 male and Top 12 female semifinalists.

It will then be up to America to decide who moves forward in the competition. The first performance show featuring the Top 12 female semifinalists will air Tuesday, Feb. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the Top 12 male semifinalists will perform. The results show revealing America’s first vote of the season will air Thursday, Feb. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), when the two male and two female contestants with the fewest votes will be sent home.

For the next two weeks, the girls will perform on Tuesdays, the guys will perform on Wednesdays and the results shows will air on Thursdays. The Top 10 female semifinalists will perform on Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and the Top 10 male semifinalists will take the stage on Wednesday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). On Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), four contestants – two girls and two guys – will be eliminated from the competition. The following week, the Top 8 female semifinalists will compete on Tuesday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), and the Top 8 male semifinalists will perform on Wednesday, March 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Then, on Thursday, March 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the finalists will be revealed after four more contestants are eliminated.

The competition heats up when the finalists take the stage LIVE and for the first time together on Tuesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). One contestant’s journey will end when America’s vote is revealed Wednesday, March 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed).


RECAP (All times ET/PT)

Tuesday, Jan. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1

Boston Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:15 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2

Atlanta Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM) Chicago Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM) Orlando Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM) Dallas Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 27 (9:00-10:00 PM) Los Angeles Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM) Denver Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM) “The Road to Hollywood” Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1

Wednesday, Feb. 10 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2

Tuesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 3

Wednesday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 4

Top 24 Semifinalists Announced

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, Feb. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM) First Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated

Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated

Tuesday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, March 10 (9:00-10:00 PM) Top 8 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 11 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated; Finalists Revealed

Tuesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Wednesday, March 17 (9:00-10:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

One Contestant Eliminated

AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.

Visit americanidol.com for exclusive videos, interviews and photos, as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.

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