American Idol returns to Q Channel 11 this January 2009 with a brand new set of Idol hopefuls to love (or hate, as the case may be), a slight change in the format, and a brand new judge joining the loud, opinionated trio of Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell.
Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, this singing competition will kick off its 8th season on Q Channel 11 with a four-hour, two-episode premiere which will air on January 14 and 15 (Philippine time). The show will also introduce new judge Kara DioGuardi, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter.
Three weeks of auditions, instead of the usual four, will open Idol's season 8. The change allowed for a second Hollywood week. Fans of the audition phase of the competition need not worry because, as in previous seasons, the auditions will again highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly audition "incidents," including the judges' comments.
Group numbers will also make a comeback in the Hollywood round of AI. That can only mean plenty of chance for viewers to catch bratty behavior courtesy of the contestants.
For the semifinals in February, 36 hopefuls, instead of 24 like last season, will be chosen and wild-card picks--also making a smashing comeback after Season 3--will have the judges choosing three singers to join the top 12. In the past, the wild card pick kept Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson in the competition longer. An innovation from last season is retained for season 8: performers can again play instruments.
Start 2009 with American Idol (premiering in the Philippines on January 14 and 15), on Q Channel 11.