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In addition to the new faces behind the judges' table, American Idol is shaking up its format for the show's new season. In past years, auditioners strived to make it into the top 24, where they would be showcased, but executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says hopefuls are going to have to do better than that. The top 24 round has been eliminated and contestants will be immediately whittled down to the best 12 singers.
"I didn't think (the top 24) were very good, I was bored with them by the time they got there," Lythgoe told TV Guide of previous seasons.
Contestants will also be challenged in new ways, as Lythgoe revealed that the pop star wannabes will learn how to make music videos, promote themselves, and work on awards show-style performances.
And, of course, the addition of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will add a new flavor to Idol.
"They both listen intently and don't make glib remarks," Lythgoe says of the new judges. "They give honest critiques."
As for original cast member Randy Jackson, well, he is following in ex-judge Simon Cowell's footsteps and is reportedly showing a more critical side.
"Randy is pulling his weight," Lythgoe says. "He really has stepped up. He's essentially come out of himself. He's enjoying being in that position."
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