ABOUT SEASONS / Season 9

American Idol Season 9

SEASON 9 - 2010

The ninth season of American Idol premiered on January 12, 2010 and concluded on May 26, 2010 on Fox. Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi all returned as judges, and Ellen DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul as the fourth judge. Idol Gives Back also returned for the season and was held on April 21, 2010, during the top seven results show. The top 24 semi-finals format used in the fourth through seventh seasons also returned this season. Judges Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres all left the show after this season ended, although only Cowell's departure was announced in advance. This was the second season where neither of the final 2 contestants had been in the bottom 2 or 3 prior to the finale, with the first being the seventh season. This was also the third consecutive season a male contestant had won, the longest streak for either gender. It was the first season since season 6 where a female made it to the finale and was also the first time since season 7 that both the finalists released a different song as a debut single.

Lee DeWyze, a folk rocker from Mount Prospect, Illinois won the competition, beating the runner-up Crystal Bowersox. Eight contestants from this season were signed to record labels. The signed artists are Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Didi Benami, and Lacey Brown.

Auditions

Auditions had begun on June 14 of the previous year, less than a month after previous season's finale. Auditions were held in seven cities between 14th June and 14th July, 2009. During this stage guest judges filled in the fourth judging seat.

Hollywood Round

Held at the Kodak Theatre for the second straight year, the first day of Hollywood Week featured the 181 contestants from the auditions round singing solo with the option of playing an instrument. Ninety-six contestants advanced. The next round required the contestants to split up into groups and perform. Seventy-one advanced to the final round of Hollywood requiring a solo performance. Forty-six made it to the final round where the judges take contestants one by one and tell them if they made the final twenty-four.

Ellen DeGeneres made her first appearance as a judge (replacing Paula Abdul) at this time.

Semi-Finals

The first seven were revealed on February 16, 2010 and the rest were revealed on the following night's episode. The semi-final format used through seasons 4–7 has been revived for this season. Starting with 12 women and 12 men, the women and men perform on weekly separate shows and on the result shows, the bottom 2 women and the bottom 2 men were eliminated from the competition. The semi-finals took place over three weeks until there were six women and six men forming the top 12.

From this point on in the show, this season's exit song, "Leave Right Now" by Will Young, was played over eliminations.

Finals

As in season 8, the judges were given one save that they could use before the top 5 week. They used the save for Michael Lynche during top 9 week.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org