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[12/22/09 - 11:38 AM]
They All Start SomewherE... "American Idol" Returns Tuesday, January 12 and Wednesday, January 13, on Fox
FOX details the schedule for the first two months of the show's ninth season.

[via press release from FOX]

THEY ALL START SOMEWHERE... "AMERICAN IDOL" RETURNS TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 AND WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, ON FOX

Ellen DeGeneres Joins the Judges in Hollywood

Top 24 Semifinalists Revealed Wednesday, February 17

Voting Begins Tuesday, February 23

Finalists Revealed Thursday, March 11

Finalists Perform for First Time Tuesday, March 16

The wait is almost over for the return of television's No. 1 show! AMERICAN IDOL is set to return for its much-anticipated ninth season with a two-night premiere featuring extraordinary talent and outrageous new auditions from Boston Tuesday, Jan. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Atlanta Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:15 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

After the two-night premiere, auditions will continue for three weeks starting with the Chicago auditions on Tuesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing from Orlando on Wednesday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). Then, Dallas auditions will air Tuesday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 27 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and "The Road to Hollywood" auditions on Wednesday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

This season on AMERICAN IDOL, the good, the bad and the awful audition for their shot at stardom. In the audition cities, Ryan Seacrest hosts, and Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will be joined by rotating guest judges Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Shania Twain who will help select the hopefuls worthy of the "Golden Ticket" to Hollywood.

The lucky auditioners who get the judges' approval then move on to the "Hollywood Round" where contestants vie for a semifinalist position during the next phase of the auditions. Once in Hollywood, Ellen joins Simon, Randy and Kara as they continue to winnow down the competitors to a select group of performers who will get to sing their hearts out each week in front of a studio audience and television viewers.

The "Hollywood Round" episodes will air Tuesday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); Wednesday, Feb. 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT); and Tuesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). On Wednesday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), dreams come true for 24 contestants, as Simon, Randy, Kara and Ellen announce the Top 12 male and Top 12 female semifinalists.

It will then be up to America to decide who moves forward in the competition. The first performance show featuring the Top 12 female semifinalists will air Tuesday, Feb. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the Top 12 male semifinalists will perform. The results show revealing America's first vote of the season will air Thursday, Feb. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), when the two male and two female contestants with the fewest votes will be sent home.

For the next two weeks, the girls will perform on Tuesdays, the guys will perform on Wednesdays and the results shows will air on Thursdays. The Top 10 female semifinalists will perform on Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and the Top 10 male semifinalists will take the stage on Wednesday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). On Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), four contestants � two girls and two guys � will be eliminated from the competition. The following week, the Top 8 female semifinalists will compete on Tuesday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), and the Top 8 male semifinalists will perform on Wednesday, March 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Then, on Thursday, March 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the finalists will be revealed after four more contestants are eliminated.

The competition heats up when the finalists take the stage LIVE and for the first time together on Tuesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). One contestant's journey will end when America's vote is revealed Wednesday, March 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed).

RECAP (All times ET/PT)

Tuesday, Jan. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1 Boston Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:15 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2 Atlanta Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM) Chicago Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM) Orlando Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM) Dallas Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 27 (9:00-10:00 PM) Los Angeles Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM) Denver Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM) "The Road to Hollywood" Auditions Episode

Tuesday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1

Wednesday, Feb. 10 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2

Tuesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 3

Wednesday, Feb. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 4 Top 24 Semifinalists Announced

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, Feb. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, Feb. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM) First Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated

Tuesday, March 2 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, March 3 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated

Tuesday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Female Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, March 10 (9:00-10:00 PM) Top 8 Male Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 11 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Eliminated; Finalists Revealed

Tuesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Wednesday, March 17 (9:00-10:00 PM) Results Show (ET live/PT tape-delayed) One Contestant Eliminated

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; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note extended run time for the Atlanta auditions episode on Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:15 PM ET/PT).]





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)











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