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American Idol

Nigel Lythgoe Dishes on Season 12 of American Idol: “It’s About the Contestants”

Nigel Lythgoe hopped on the horn with the media masses today to let everyone know what we should expect from Season 12 of American Idol and, if one theme seemed to emerge, it was that of change. And there’s much more to said changes than the mega-stars sitting at the judges’ table.

Instead of being reactive, only allowing singers to come to them, producers got on a bus this summer and hit some smaller towns across the U.S. They did this to reach some folks who don’t have the means to get to an audition, but are talented, nonetheless.

Viewers will also likely enjoy what Nigel calls the “I Nominate” change for this season, in which Randy Jackson did some hidden camera work, surprising people who were perhaps too nervous to come forward, but were “volunteered” by their friends or family members. In turn, if Randy gave his stamp of approval, these folks would be granted a ticket to the head of the line come audition time.

Hollywood Week also underwent a massive redesign, as it was the first time the show gave a week to the boys and a week to the girls. As Nigel says, it gives more insight into who these people are, and there is an “awful lot more focus on the talent this year.”

Of course, even Nigel can’t deny all the speculation about the huge star power at the judges’ table this year. He does say, however, that the oft-discussed feuding was not the publicity he welcomed. He admits that the judges are interesting because of who they are, but “it’s about the contestants.”

American Idol premieres on Wednesday, January 16. Are you excited to check out the new changes?

01.10.2013 / 07:30 PM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
Related: American Idol, American Idol Season 12

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