First Look: American Idol Season 12 Returns on January 16, 2013 (@AmericanIdol)

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Hosted by the inimitable Ryan Seacrest, AMERICAN IDOL Season 12 features a dynamic new judging panel including Randy Jackson, a Grammy Award-winning producer whose expertise and beloved persona have been instrumental in discovering IDOL talent from the beginning; global superstar and the best-selling female recording artist of all time Mariah Carey; quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon Nicki Minaj; and Keith Urban, a four-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 15 million albums. Seacrest and the judges will travel to Charlotte, Chicago, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City and San Antonio to find the next superstar who will join the ranks of IDOL alumni Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.

AUDITIONS

The incredible journey begins with a two-night event showcasing the nation’s best talent from the New York auditions on Wednesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and the Chicago auditions Thursday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Auditions continue for two more weeks on Wednesday, Jan. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); andWednesday, Jan. 30 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS

The contestants who impress the judges will head to “Hollywood” and be put to the ultimate stage test during the “Hollywood Rounds,” airing Wednesday, Feb. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, Feb. 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). At the end of the final “Hollywood Round,” on Thursday, Feb. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), only the Top 40 contestants – 20 males and 20 females – will remain.

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE ONE: LAS VEGAS

In a new twist, the competition then moves to Las Vegas, where the Top 40 semifinalists will be split into males and females. Starting Wednesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing Thursday, Feb. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Wednesday, Feb. 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), 10 semifinalists will perform each night – males on Wednesday, females on Thursday – and the judges will be faced with the tough decision of choosing which five will stay each night and which five will be sent home. At the end of the first stage of the semifinals, only 20 contestants will remain.

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE TWO: AMERICA VOTES

It’s up to viewers to vote for who will advance to the Top 10 and who will go home, during a special three-night AMERICAN IDOL event. In the season’s first live show, airing on a special night, Tuesday, March 5 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining male semifinalists will perform LIVE from Las Vegas for America’s vote. On Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining female semifinalists will perform LIVE. On Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 PM (ET live/PT tape-delayed), America’s vote and the AMERICAN IDOL Top 10 finalists will be revealed in the first elimination show LIVE from Los Angeles.

FINALIST PERFORMANCE ROUNDS

The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists perform for the first time LIVE on the IDOL stage Wednesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed). One finalist’s journey will end as America’s vote is revealed on Thursday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed).

 

RECAP

(All AMERICAN IDOL episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET/PT unless otherwise noted)

 

AUDITIONS

 

Wednesday, Jan. 16                                    Season Premiere, Part 1 – New York Auditions

 

Thursday, Jan. 17                                    Season Premiere, Part 2 – Chicago Auditions

 

Wednesday, Jan. 23                                    Audition Episode

 

Thursday, Jan. 24                                    Audition Episode

 

Wednesday, Jan. 30                                    Audition Episode

 

Thursday, Jan. 31                                    Audition Episode

 

HOLLYWOOD ROUNDS

 

Wednesday, Feb. 6                                    Hollywood Round, Part 1

 

Thursday, Feb. 7                                    Hollywood Round, Part 2

 

Wednesday, Feb. 13                                    Hollywood Round, Part 3

 

Thursday, Feb. 14                                    Hollywood Round, Part 4 – Top 40 Revealed

 

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE ONE: LAS VEGAS

 

Wednesday, Feb. 20                          First Group of 10 Male Singers Perform

 

Thursday, Feb. 21                              First Group of 10 Female Singers Perform

 

Wednesday, Feb. 27                          Second Group of 10 Male Singers Perform

 

Thursday, Feb. 28                              Second Group of 10 Female Singers Perform

 

SEMIFINALIST ROUNDS – PHASE TWO: AMERICA VOTES

(All LIVE episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.)

 

Tuesday, March 5                              Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform LIVE

 

Wednesday, March 6                                     Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform LIVE

Thursday, March 7                             LIVE Results Show; Top 10 Finalists Revealed

FINALIST ROUNDS

 

Wednesday, March 13                        Top 10 LIVE Performance Show

 

Thursday, March 14                                    LIVE Results Show; One Finalist Sent Home

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Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John’s University.

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