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Fox's 'American Idol 4' to undergo fourth season changes

UPI News Service, 01/03/2005 

The producer's of the Fox reality show "American Idol" say the show will undergo some major changes in the upcoming fourth season.

For starters, "Idol" will air 10 episodes devoted to auditions -- six in the various audition cities and four in Hollywood, Daily Variety reported Monday. The show will be five weeks into the season before it goes to live performance/elimination shows. Far more auditions were held this year than in previous seasons: 100,000. Guest judges -- including LL Cool J, Gene Simmons, Brandy, Kenny Loggins and Mark McGrath -- will sit in on the early audition rounds.

The age limit for contestants has been increased to 28, to allow slightly older -- and possibly more desperate -- contestants to get a piece of the action.

Finally, in late February, "Idol" will temporarily go from two episodes a week to a three-episodes-per-week format to determine the talent show's final 12 contestants.

The fourth season of "American Idol" premieres with a two-hour special Jan. 18.


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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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