'American Idol' Adds Small Town and Online Auditions for Season 12
'American Idol' Adds Small Town and Online Auditions for Season 12
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Let the American Idol overhaul begin! Following a huge drop in ratings, the loss of Jennifer Lopez and Steve Tyler from the judges' panel and getting snubbed by the Emmys in favor of The Voice, American Idol is changing things up a bit for season 12.

The show will offer new ways to audition, including a small town bus tour, online submissions and "Nominate an Idol."

The Small Town Bus Tour will provide additional audition opportunities to people who can't make any of the larger city stops, primarily through the areas of the country that don't get noticed. Idaho Falls, Idaho, Billings, Montana, Casper, Wyoming, Rock Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Clarksdale, Mississippi, Joplin, Missouri, Dodge City, Kansas and Grand Junction, Colorado will mark the stops for the bus tour. Dates will be announced later.

In the "Nominate an Idol" program, family and friends of talented people can sign them up without their knowledge by filling out an online form and submitting a video. This sounds great (and will inevitably make for some decent TV), but is it really a good idea? If someone isn't willing to actually audition themselves, is forcing them onto a TV show going to be wise? Do we want an Idol with such low self-esteem that they don't believe in themselves?

Finally, people will be able to submit videos of themselves online for the auditions starting August 1. The online auditions will be open for two weeks at americanidol.com.

The new auditions will make for some interesting new episodes when American Idol returns in January, though I'm not sure if watching the judges watch online videos is going to be especially compelling.

And while three new ways to audition is certainly an interesting change, it doesn't distract from the fact that the judges' panel is barren and in need of some fresh blood. Sadly, rumors of Mariah Carey nearing a deal are all we have for now, and that just seems like a lateral move at best as she will most likely be as kind and non-judgmental as Lopez.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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