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[12/19/05 - 12:00 AM]
American Idol Begins January 17 and 18 on FOX

[via press release from FOX]

"AMERICAN IDOL" BEGINS JANUARY 17 AND 18 ON FOX

Top 24 Singers Revealed on Wednesday, February 15

Top Male Singers Perform on Tuesday, February 21

Top Female Singers Perform on Wednesday, February 22

First LIVE Results Show on Thursday, February 23

Top 12 Finalists Perform Together for the First Time on Tuesday, March 14

Just when you thought you've seen everything, AMERICAN IDOL, the No. 1 show of last season, returns with outrageous new auditions and unbelievable talent. The search for the next singing superstar began last summer, as AMERICAN IDOL held auditions in San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver and Greensboro. Find out who makes it to Hollywood and who is sent home as season five of AMERICAN IDOL premieres Tuesday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Wednesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Episodes featuring the audition cities will air on four consecutive Tuesdays: Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Jan. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Jan. 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and three Wednesdays: Jan. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Those who get past the judges move on to the Hollywood Round, which will air on Wednesday, Feb. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 14 and 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Top 24 semifinalists � 12 males and 12 females � will be announced.

Then it will be up to America to decide who stays in the competition. The first performance show featuring the Top 12 male singers will air Tuesday, Feb. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the Top 12 female singers will perform. A LIVE results show revealing America's vote will air Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), when the two male and two female performers with the fewest votes will be sent home.

For the next two weeks, the males will perform on Tuesdays, the females on Wednesdays and the LIVE results show will air on Thursday nights. Thus, the Top 10 male singers will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) and the Top 8 male singers on Tuesday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). The Top 10 female singers will perform on Wednesday, March 1 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) and the Top 8 female singers battle it out on Wednesday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Four contestants, two males and two females, will be eliminated from the competition on the LIVE results shows airing Thursday, March 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). The Top 12 Finalists will be revealed on Thursday, March 9.

The competition heats up as the Top 12 Finalists take the stage for the first time together on Tuesday, March 14 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). One contestant's journey will end as America's vote is revealed on Wednesday, March 15 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT).

Fourteen-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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