"American Idol" Returns in January With Many Changes

News   "American Idol" Returns in January With Many Changes When "American Idol" returns for its new season Jan. 12, 2010, the country's biggest singing competition will sport many changes.

In addition to new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who join long-time judge Randy Jackson, the program will also feature an in-house mentor, Jimmy Iovine, who is the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records.

The finalists in the competition will also face several new challenges. Contestants will be asked to create a music video and work with a full band and dancers to deliver an awards show-style performance, according to TVGuide.com.

"American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe also told TVGuide.com that one of the initial rounds of the competition has been eliminated. The program will no longer have a period when the contestants shrink from a pool of 24 to 12. Instead, the competition will begin with the top 12. Producers of the show would not elaborate on this change.

Among the many "American Idol" finalists and/or winners who have appeared on Broadway are Fantasia, Justin Guarini, Jordin Sparks, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.

For more information about "American Idol," visit www.americanidol.com.

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