Season 9 is luring viewers with factors other than the usual bad auditions and contestant sob stories. Consider the following:
In perhaps the biggest change of the season, DeGeneres replaces longtime “Idol” judge Paula Abdul. Some fans say the move adds a fresh voice to the panel, others say DeGeneres’ crowd-pleasing personality will prevent her from offering real criticism.
The “Idol” crew didn’t come to our backyard, but Atlanta seems close enough. Big “Idol” names like Clay Aiken, Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson auditioned in Atlanta. Ryan Seacrest also hails from the Atlanta area.
Recent rumors suggested that the acerbic judge will be leaving “Idol” after this season. Fact or publicity scam? Your guess is as good as ours.
Producers abandoned last season’s 36-person semifinal phase and returned to having 24 semifinalists. With luck, this will make it easier for viewers to choose an early favorite — instead of calling every other singer “that blonde girl who sings country music.”
During the traveling audition rounds, a rotating lineup of guest judges joined Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi. Celebs like Mary J. Blige and Neil Patrick Harris had a hand in this season of “Idol.” Their critiques could be surprisingly enlightening.