As American Idol kicks off its 11th season with auditions Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on Fox, can it continue to reign over its rival singing competitions on TV (and all other shows, for that matter)?
Although Simon Cowell's The X Factor crowns its winner in the fall, NBC's The Voice will be nipping at Idol's heels when it premieres its second season on Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl. Charismatic banter among the coaches and those cool, swiveling chairs may bring in some viewers, but the Idol crew isn't sweating it, judging from a...
What other music competition shows?
The American Idol team came out swinging Sunday when reporters at Fox's winter TV preview asked how they felt about the threat of similar formats like The X Factor and NBC's The Voice; the latter which will air during the same time frame as Idol this year.
"Idol is still the best TV show that's come on anywhere," Randy Jackson said. "We're the original.
Are Randy Jackson's "dawg" days over?
Along with the addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the other biggest change to American Idol's judging table has been the toughening up of the last original judge.
Nine years ago, a brutally honest record exec named Simon Cowell was so vicious as a judge on a new musical talent show that a few performers he rudely rejected came after him with baseball bats. Fellow judge Paula Abdul was so put out by his rough treatment of young singers that at one point during the first season, she stormed off the set threatening to quit. The third judge, Randy Jackson, once could be seen standing up angrily behind the judges' table, looking like he was going to clobber Cowell.
Despite that rocky beginning, or perhaps because ...
Tens of millions of viewers or not, American Idol isn't one to let any grass grow under its feet.
Already this season, the Fox juggernaut has introduced a fourth judge (the wonderfully articulate and lucid Kara DioGuardi) and surprised us with a Top 13 (two of whom will get sent packing this Wednesday night).
But the show isn't done with the tweaks. Calling in to Idol host Ryan Seacrest's KISS-FM radio show, exec producer Ken Warwick hinted at a rule change being revealed on this week's results show that will emerge as a "big talking point" once America gets wind of it.
What's the change? Warwick ...