ABOUT SEASONS / Season 12

American Idol Season 12

SEASON 12 - 2013

The twelfth season of American Idol premiered on January 16, 2013, as part of the mid-season of the 2012–13 network television season. Three new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, signed on to replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez who left after two seasons of judging on the show. This is the third season to have four judges. The others were seasons eight and nine. Randy Jackson returned for this season. On December 31, 2012, it was announced that Ryan Seacrest has signed on to remain the host for at least two more seasons.

Producer Nigel Lythgoe indicated on January 9, 2013 that during the Hollywood rounds, the girls and boys would perform on separate weeks. The separation of the sexes would continue in the Vegas round right up until the Top 10. There would not be a Top 12 or wild cards, but he publicly stated he was contemplating the idea of ranking the singers by their vote totals as well as the possibility of breaking out voting data by geographic region. This will be the first season to have a Top 20 in the live voting rounds in semifinals as well as the first season since the inaugural season wherein there will only be a Top 10 in the finals.

This season also introduced the SuperVote where viewers were able to cast 50 votes at once online or through the new American Idol App, in addition to all the regular voting methods. Voters are able to allocate any number of votes for one contestant or multiple contestants, for a total of 50 votes, across all online voting destinations.

Auditions

In an attempt to refresh the show's audition process, new ways to audition were announced. First is the "American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour", a 10-town nationwide tour that gives hopefuls who couldn't make it to one of the large audition cities a chance to try out. The cities are Idaho Falls, Idaho; Billings, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; Rock Rapids, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Joplin, Missouri; Dodge City, Kansas; and Grand Junction, Colorado. Idol is also starting the "Nominate an Idol" program, which will let friends and family of individuals they think could be the next American Idol nominate said person in secret by filling out an online form and existing video or URL of their nominee—they must be singing solo and a capella. The chosen auditions will then be surprised on location by a film crew and given an opportunity to advance to the next round. Finally, online auditions for season 12 were open from Wednesday, August 1, 2012 through Tuesday, August 14, 2012 and October 12 to November 4, 2012.

Hollywood Round

For the first time, the Hollywood rounds were held in the Valley Performance Arts Center in Northridge, California. The contestants were separated by gender, with the male contestants performing in the first week, and the female the next. There were three rounds in each week – the cappella, the group, and the solo rounds. Unlike previous seasons, the groups in the group round were chosen by the producers, although each group was able to select a song from a list of 20 songs to perform.

The males performed February 6 & 7 and the girls performed February 13 & 14. The contestants sang a capella solos in groups of eight and the judges chose only a few of them to move on to group round that same night and for the first time, the producers picked the groups. On the second night, the contestants performed solos. They were then divided into groups of eight, and only a few of them moved on. The judges picked 20 males and 20 females to perform in front of a live studio audience at The Beatles Love by Cirque De Soleil at The Mirage. Beginning this season, the contestants no longer took "the long walk" to find out if they made it to the Semi-finals. Five were eliminated, while five advanced.

Las Vegas Round

The semi-finals round took place at The Beatles Love by Cirque De Soleil at The Mirage. The forty people who made it then faced the "sudden death" Las Vegas round and only twenty moved on. The contestants were divided into four gender-separated groups of ten, with the female groups airing on Wednesdays and the male groups airing on Thursdays between February 20–28. Each group performed in front of the judges and a studio audience, singing a standard ninety-second solo with the judges critiquing them at the end. When everyone had performed, they were called out one by one to face the judges, who – based on how they performed – either eliminated them or advanced them to the live semi-final voting round.

Semi-Finals

The Top 20 semi-finals continue at The Beatles Love stage in Las Vegas. The three-night event marked the first week viewers were allowed to cast votes. On the first night, the top ten females performed; on the second night, the top ten males followed; and on the third night, the show moved back to Los Angeles and only five males and five females advanced while the rest were eliminated. A new format was introduced for the revealing of the results: Ryan walked backstage into the green room and, one by one, announced the contestant who would advance to the finals. The live studio audience and judges didn't know the results until the contestants walked out on stage. Each of them sang their victory song. After the results were announced, Ryan revealed that there will be a sing-off next week during the finals between the sixth placing male and female contestant who did not make the top ten. They will compete to join the American Idol tour.

Finals

Season 12 introduced a new method of revealing voting results. In previous seasons, it was customary for Ryan Seacrest to systematically reveal the bottom three and/or bottom two vote-getters before announcing the eliminated contestant, with the rest of the rankings unknown. In Season 12, as of Top 10 week, Seacrest instead systematically reveals the top three in no particular order before then announcing the rankings of fourth place and beyond, ending with the bottom two and the announcement of the contestant with the lowest number of votes.

The contestants performed a song that a previous American Idol winner performed while on the show, including their coronation songs, or a song they recorded in their post-Idol career.

All of season 12's finalists participated in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2013

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org