‘American Idol Season 13’ Changes – Judges Have Chemistry Now! Earlier Live Shows And More Contemporary Song Choices

By Staff Writer | October 17, 2013 02:46 AM EDT


What was once America's top show has woefully fallen. Facing the axe, the new executive producer makes some changes.

Last year marked 'American Idol's lowest rating season. The show that started the reality talent competition wave of the past decade is barely surviving. None of the original judges remain and the show has lost one-fourth of its viewers.

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It's also been a long while since they have produced a household name like Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. The all-female final five last season looked contrived. Accusations of gender and racial discrimination have tarnished its integrity. The judges' bickering (Mariah Carey vs Nicki Minaj) was a tacky publicity ploy gone awry, backfired badly.  

Now, they have a new executive producer.  Per Blankens, who previously helmed the Swedish version of Idol, is now the Stateside boss. He talks about the changes they have undertaken:  "So we decided to get three people who really could enjoy each other's company(Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr).  The panel is getting along so well that they're even taking their lunch breaks together, something producers admit never happened last year. Nobody's above the other. Adds exec producer Trish Kinane. There's none of that rivalry going on."

"There was no need to really come up with one big new gimmick. It's rather about looking at all the little details." They will add more contestants to be shown during the auditions; there will be a new section at the start of Hollywood Week ("There's a bit of a shock element to it," Kinane teases); and the time between Hollywood Week and the live shows will be shortened so viewers can cast their votes sooner. The music selection and themes will also be overhauled, allowing contestants to pick more contemporary tracks. "That doesn't mean we're going to do Billboard Top 10 every week," Blankens says. "But if someone wants to sing a current song, they're going to at least have the choice." (Quotes from TV Guide)



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