This season on American Idol the show made a big deal about lowering the age limit to 15. The goal was to expand the pool of potential contestants, but did it make a difference?

Well, there are no 15-year-olds in the Top 24, so that should answer that question. While the average age of the contestants this season is lower than last season’s Top 24, it’s not by much. Season 10 of American Idol has two 16-year-olds, just like season 9, and five teenagers, just like season 9.

In fact, even though the average age for this year is lower, there are actually more contestants 21 and over in this year’s Top 24 than last year, meaning more partying and more legal drinking.

But while the maximum age for contestants is 28, this year’s oldest singers only 26, making Naima Adedapo, Clint Jun Gamboa and Paul McDonald the elder statesmen of American Idol season 10.

So American Idol may have lowered the eligibility age, but it hasn’t really affected the makeup of the Top 24 in an obvious way. Here are the numbers to compare the two seasons.

Average Age of the Top 24
Season 9: 21.8
Season 10: 21.25

Average Age of the Top 12 Guys:
Season 9: 22.3
Season 10: 21.3

Average Age of the Top 12 Girls:
Season 9: 21.25
Season 10: 21.17

Number of 16-Year-Olds in the Top 24:
Season 9: 2
Season 10: 2

Number of 17-Year-Olds in the Top 24:
Season 9: 1
Season 10: 3

Number of Top 24 Singers Under 21:
Season 9: 10
Season 10: 9

Number of Top 24 Singers Over 26:
Season 9: 2
Season 10: 0

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.