American Idol makes changes to freshen things up

2014-01-14 09:39

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Pasadena – The producers of American Idol say the show’s new season will include changes to give it a fresher look and feel, including expanded song choices for contestants.

After tending toward a fair amount of golden oldies, the show’s song list will add more current tunes that the young contestants can relate to, executive producer Per Blankens said yesterday.

Former judge Randy Jackson’s new role will include leading a workshop that helps contestants deal with vocal and other challenges, executive producer Trish Kinane said.

The talent contest also will introduce a “rush week” that precedes the Hollywood week auditions.

But Kinane told the Television Critics Association that the series is still essentially American Idol.

Fox’s programme enters its 13th season tomorrow after a decline in ratings and competition in the talent genre from NBC’s The Voice.

It’s the first season for the judging panel of Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr and Jennifer Lopez, who told the critics’ group they have fun working together and want to put the focus on the contestants, not themselves.

Urban ducked a question about his experience last season working with judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, who became known for their on-air sniping.

Host Ryan Seacrest helped, joining Urban in pretending the question was about their relationship.

“Ryan and I worked it out,” Urban said.

“We’re fine,” Seacrest added.

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