It’s like music to our ears! Seaso 14 of “American Idol” will premiere on Wednesday, Jan 7. And according to reports, Fox will be making some major changes to the 2015 installment of the beloved reality series. Check out 6 things you should know about the new season of “Idol” before the auditions start:
1. No More Randy Jackson
Jackson, who has appeared on “American Idol” since the show began in 2002 will not be acting as a mentor in the upcoming season. Instead, the original “Idol” judge will be replaced by Scott Borchetta, the American business man who founded Big Machine Records, and discovered Taylor Swift.
“There’s only one reason I’m doing this: ‘American Idol’ has proven again and again that it can launch superstars. I believe that working with these young artists the same way we work with new artists at the Big Machine Label Group will help the next ‘American Idol’ be as prepared as possible to continue the tradition of creating new superstars,” Borchetta said in a statement. “The entire label group will be invested, and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels.”
2. Once-A-Week Airings
“American Idol” will no longer be airing episodes twice a week. You know what they say: Absence makes the heart grow fonder! Maybe it will help ratings grow, too. The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, confirmed the news during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are going to do the performance show and the results in the same show,” he explained. “So there won’t be a ‘wait ‘til tomorrow night.’ There won’t be a ‘Coming up, coming up, coming up.’ We are going to put it all into one format in one night. So that will be exciting."
3. The Loss Of A Sponser
Coca-Cola has officially left the building. According to Variety, the beverage company, whose logo is spotted every episode of “Idol” sitting atop the judges table, has pulled its sponsorship from the long-running reality competition.
“After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point,” a spokesperson for the company explained. The departure of Coke follows shortly after AT&T pulled sponsorship from the Fox series in January 2014.
4. A Second Prize
“American Idol” is upping the ante. According to Entertainment Tonight, the Fox series will be giving a hefty second prize worth $50,000 to any friend or family member that encouraged the grand prize winner to audition on Season 14 of “Idol.”
5. Format Changes
The Top 24 finalists have already been chosen! “It’s an ‘Idol’ first,” Seacrest said in a Season 14 promo video of the show’s newest twist. “Before we even show you the auditions, we are going to introduce you to the Top 24.”
6. Listen To The Top 24
Because the Top 24 contestants have already been selected by the Season 14 judges (Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.), fans of “American Idol” can listen to the finalists sing before the premiere even airs!
The voices of the 2015 contestants can be heard in a promo video for “Idol” as each of the finalists sing a line from Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” However, only the singers' silhouettes can be seen. Guess you’ll have to match the faces to your favorite voice when “American Idol” Season 14 premieres!
“American Idol” will air its Season 14 premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. EST.