ABOUT SEASONS / Season 10

American Idol Season 10

SEASON 10 - 2011

The tenth season of American Idol premiered on January 19, 2011 and concluded on May 25, 2011, on Fox. The show underwent a number of changes from the ninth season, including the reduction of the judging panel to its original number of just three judges (two of whom are new), a returning executive producer, a new music director as well as multiple format changes. Beginning this season, Idol was also moved from Tuesdays and Wednesdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Nigel Lythgoe returned to the senior production team as executive producer for the series. American singer Steven Tyler and American singer-actress Jennifer Lopez joined the judging panel as replacements for Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kara DioGuardi who all left at the end of the ninth season. Randy Jackson returned for this season. Ray Chew replaced Rickey Minor as the show's musical director and leader of the Idol's live band.

Interscope Records, which is part of Universal Music Group, replaced Sony Music Entertainment as Idol's official partner record label. Interscope's Chairman Jimmy Iovine, a songwriter and producer, was made in-house mentor to work with the contestants on a weekly basis. He is supported by associated producers: Rodney Jerkins, Alex da Kid, Tricky Stewart, Don Was, will.i.am, and Timbaland who all help contestants tailor their song choices to their chosen genre of performance, as well as work in producing arrangements for the contestants and offering original material to be performed.

This is the first season in which 15-year-olds could audition. Other changes include online voting, extra rounds such as the Las Vegas and a final solo round, and a return of the judges' wild card choice. More contestants made it to Hollywood in season 10 than in previous seasons. This is also the first season where 11 contestants went on tour instead of 10.

On May 25, 2011, after 122.4 million votes were cast for the finale (and nearly 750 million votes for the seasonal total), Scotty McCreery was crowned the winner of the tenth season of American Idol, making him the youngest male winner at 17 years and 7 months old, and the second youngest winner ever behind season 6 winner Jordin Sparks.

Eight contestants from this season were signed to record labels. The signed artists are Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Casey Abrams, Stefano Langone, Pia Toscano, and Naima Adedapo.

Auditions

Auditions were held in seven cities between 3rd August and 22th September, 2010. In addition to the cities, for the first time contestants were allowed to audition online via Myspace / Facebook / Twitter. To audition, they were required to upload a 40-second audition clip of them singing a pre-approved song. The internet auditioners, including Karen Rodriguez, were called back to Los Angeles to audition in front of the judges.

Hollywood and Las Vegas Rounds

The Hollywood week phase of the competition was held in the Pasadena Civic Center. There were a record-number 327 contestants in the first round, which lasted over two days, exceeding season 2's record of 234. The contestants emerged in groups of ten and each performed individually a cappella. After the whole group had finished their performances, those who failed were cut immediately. 168 advanced to the next round, where the contestants performed in groups; out of the 168, only 100 advanced to the next round. In the next round, the contestants performed solo, accompanied by a band or an instrument. The contestants were then separated into four rooms, with two of the four rooms containing eliminated contestants and the other two containing contestants who made it into the next round. Only 61 of the 100 remaining advanced.

This year, due to the large number of contestants, two more rounds were added. The 61 remaining contestants proceeded to Las Vegas where they performed songs from The Beatles as duos and trios in the Love theatre at The Mirage for this newly added 'Las Vegas' round. After that, 41 advanced to the final "Sing For Your Life" round back in Los Angeles. In that round, each contestant performed a song of their own choosing at Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose aircraft hangar. The Top 24 were then selected from the remaining 41 for the semifinals. This episode was notable for the emotional breakdown of judge Jennifer Lopez after telling contestant Chris Medina that he had been eliminated.

Semi-Finals

The twenty-four semi-finalists were revealed in two stages. The first five were revealed on February 23, 2011, and the remaining 19 were revealed on the following night's episode. The semi-final round began on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. This year, the producers used a new format. Contestants were splited into two semi-final groups (males and females) with contestants listed in their performance order. The top five males and top five females, along with the three wild card choices by the judges, advanced to the finals. There were twenty-four semifinalists, twelve females and twelve males. The males started the semifinal round, and the females continued on following night's episode, the contestants perform songs of their choice (there was no particular theme).

Finals

This is the first season in which there are 12 weeks of the finals instead of 11 and the 2nd season to have 13 finalists, instead of 12 as in the previous seasons, with one of the 13 finalists eliminated each week. In the eighth season there were 13 finalists but two were eliminated in the first week, the final rounds thereby only lasted 11 weeks. The top 13 performance show was pre-recorded, but the subsequent performance shows of the finals were broadcast live. Season seven winner David Cook recorded the Simple Minds song "Don't You (Forget About Me)" as the send-off song played when a contestant is eliminated. The finals venue was same stage as used in the Semi-Finals.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org