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Fox's 'American Idol 4' returns with changes

UPI News Service, 01/14/2005 

"American Idol" is coming back for its fourth season but it's singing a new tune.

The biggest changes will come in the semifinals, which producers unofficially are calling a battle of the sexes. But, things will be different right from Tuesday's kickoff, said.

As was announced before auditions last summer, the age limit for contestants was raised from 26 to 28 and it seems the older singers turned out.

"We were seeing a lot of 28-year-olds, 26, 27, and that will probably play a lot in this show, because people sometimes get better, there's things you can't fix as a teen," Randy Jackson said.

Auditions were held in new cities -- St. Louis, Cleveland, Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. -- but the biggest change to the early episodes will be where else the show travels.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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