Welcome back AMERICAN IDOL!

Hollywood Rounds Begin Thursday, February 9; Semifinalists Revealed Thursday, February 23

By Jason Matthews

The incredible journey is about to begin as AMERICAN IDOL, America’s No. 1 show, returns for its remarkable 11th season. Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and returning judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, AMERICAN IDOL is set to return with a two-night event showcasing the nation’s most extraordinary talent Wednesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM) and Thursday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM). Auditions will continue with a special, extended primetime broadcast of AMERICAN IDOL Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:00-11:00 PM), following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (6:00 PM live) on FOX 50.


The show’s judges – Jackson, Lopez and Tyler – traveled to Savannah, Aspen, Galveston, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis in search of contestants with the raw talent and potential to become the next AMERICAN IDOL. Auditions continue on Wednesday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM) and Thursday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM); Wednesday, Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM) and Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM); and Wednesday, Feb. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) on FOX 50.


The contestants who impress the judges will head to Hollywood and be put to the ultimate test during the “Hollywood Rounds,” airing Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM); Wednesday, Feb. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM); and Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM).


On Wednesday, Feb. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM), those who make it through Hollywood must then take the “Performance Challenge,” where they face the judges one last time before the top male and top female semifinalists are revealed on Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM).


The judges have their say after every performance, but it’s the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of the competition and who will go home. In the milestone 400th episode, airing on a special night, Tuesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM), the first group of semifinalists will take the stage to sing for America’s votes.


The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM), the remaining semifinalists will perform. The competition takes an intense turn on the two-hour LIVE results show Thursday, March 1 (8:00-10:00 PM) as America’s vote reveals the first set of finalists, then those that remain will have one last chance to perform for the judges who will round out the 2012 AMERICAN IDOL finalists with their wild card picks. 


The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists take the stage on Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-10:00 PM live). One finalist’s journey will end as America’s vote is revealed on Thursday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM live).  


Wednesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM)
Season Premiere, Part 1
Thursday, Jan. 19
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Season Premiere, Part 2
Sunday, Jan. 22
Auditions Episode (Special Broadcast)
Wednesday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM)
Auditions Episode
Thursday, Jan. 26
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Auditions Episode
Wednesday, Feb. 1
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Auditions Episode
Thursday, Feb. 2
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Auditions Episode
Wednesday, Feb. 8
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Auditions Episode
Thursday, Feb. 9
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Hollywood Round, Part 1
Wednesday, Feb. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2
Thursday, Feb. 16
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Hollywood Round, Part 3
Wednesday, Feb. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) 
Performance Challenge
Thursday, Feb. 23
(8:00-9:00 PM)
Semifinalists Announced
Tuesday, Feb. 28
(8:00-10:00 PM)
Semifinalists Perform/
400th Episode (Special Broadcast)
Wednesday, Feb. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM)
Semifinalists Perform
Thursday, March 1
(8:00-10:00 PM live)
Results Show; Finalists Announced and Judges’ Wild Card Picks Revealed
Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-10:00 PM)
Finalists Perform
Thursday, March 8
(8:00-9:00 PM live)
Results Show; First Elimination


americanidol.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news. For all photo requests, please visit foxflash.com.


Become a fan of AMERICAN IDOL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanIdol. Follow the series on Twitter @AmericanIdol and join the discussion at #AmericanIdol. Also, follow host Ryan Seacrest at @RyanSeacrest, and follow the judges: @yo_randyjackson; @JLo; and @iamstevent.


AMERICAN IDOL is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc. and FremantleMedia North America Inc. The series is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, CEO, XIX Entertainment, and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, CEO, Nigel Lythgoe Productions. AMERICAN IDOL has been No. 1 among Adults 18-49 for the past eight consecutive seasons.

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