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“American Idol” Changes for Season 10


Chelsea Waltman – Staff Writer

After nine semi-successful seasons of American Idol, Simon Cowell has finally signed off his role of judge.  The ratings have been decreasing each season, and will continue to decrease now with the adored judge missing. After Paula left last season, only Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, the newer addition, Kara DioGuardi, and finally the guest judge, Ellen DeGeneres remained and the show has not been the same. 

Because the producers of American Idol wanted a change and had received bad reviews of DioGuardi, they secretly fired her and hired two new judges to jump on board.  The two new judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, are actually musical experts and are still famous for what they achieved in their singing careers. Of course, no one will know what to think of the new additions until the show actually premiers in January 2011; but most comments have been positive, since the two are obviously able to distinguish the good singing from the bad, given their pasts.

Not only are there new faces in the panel of American Idol for the tenth season, but there are also new goals and changes in the structure that the show has operated on.  Producer Nigel Lythgoe has set standards for the judges while they are selecting people through auditions.  The “cute boys hiding behind their guitars” will not work anymore because the way contestants present themselves is being carefully judged.  Another change to auditions is that those who sing rock or country will be appreciated more with Cowell out of the picture and Tyler judging. 

One of the biggest changes announced for Season Ten is one which may be a complete success or a complete failure. The contestants will no longer need to sing different genres or styles of music than they are not accustomed to.  The themes are now going to be by time period instead of genre. 

During past seasons, singers performing outside of their comfort zones had been entertaining for the audience and sometimes ended with the singer choosing a new style to focus on, as well as a lot of fame. The goal, according to the producers, is to get American Idol to produce real, major recording artists that can be signed. 

In fact, Nigel Lythgoe was quoted in saying that “Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are the only real stars the show produced.” 

Of course, not everyone would agree with this statement, but the point of the show is to make the people happy and the producers money.