This Tuesday's American Idol performance show, which was to be the first trimmed down to a lean hour, in fact will run 6 7 minutes - an apparent ploy to keep viewers from switching over to rival reality behemoth Dancing with the Stars' first elimination show. ABC scheduled DWTS to avoid such conflicts - as entertainment prez Steve McPherson noted in January, "Fans won't have to choose between the two reality hits this spring" - so Fox's move seems pulled from the "kill-it-in-the-cradle school" of counterprogramming, the Washington Post notes, and has industry insiders wagging their fingers.

The "word" at Fox is that the extra minutes are in some way needed to best serve the inclusion of guest mentor Gwen Stefani - though she won't even be performing until Wednesday's show.

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