Update (February 18, 2014): During the first Rush Week episode, Ryan Seacrest revealed that Ben Briley would be going through to the next round, having gotten more votes this past week than Neco Starr.

Original story (January 20, 2014): Season 13 of American Idol has already proved it’s not the same old show of seasons past. Gone are the constant judging squabbles, the infighting, the all around negativity. It’s a new age of sunshine, smiles, and Harry Connick, Jr... but that’s not all.

According to our friends over at American Idol Net and The Idol Pad, the producers have yet another huge surprise in store for us as Season 13 ramps up — and this one involves us, America!

As you may have noticed, there are a rumored Top 31 contestants this go-around. That’s one more than normal for the show. To whittle the list down to the traditional 30 before newly created Rush Week, The Idol Pad says two male contestants will go head-to-head for America’s votes. The two men fighting for their reality TV show lives are — drumroll please — Ben Briley and Neco Starr.

Neco’s previously competed on the show, when he made it to the Top 42 during Season 11, while Ben is a brand new addition to the family. Will the previous experience give Neco a leg up on the competition, or is a fresh face what the voters want? It’ll be up to us to decide as we’ll be the ones casting votes to keep either Neco or Ben in the running for the Season 13 crown.

What do you make of the twist? Sounds interesting or just a play to create drama? Share your thoughts!

Sources: American Idol Net, The Idol Pad

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!