“American Idol” is adding a new twist to the 2015 season. The top 24 contestants are being introduced before viewers even see their auditions. In a new video, Ryan Seacrest introduces the top 24 for Season 14. They sing “Feeling Good,” but viewers can see only silhouettes and backs in the music video, not the singers' faces.
Check out the “American Idol” Season 14 top 24 in the video below:
The new "Idol" season kicks off with a two-night event. It premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. EST with a one-hour installment and continues with a two-hour episode the next day at 8. But don’t clear all of your Wednesdays and Thursdays. The show is going to a one-night format once the top 10 singers are chosen, according to "Entertainment Tonight." Performances and results will be combined in one episode from that point on.
Those are just the latest changes. The new format comes after Randy Jackson -- the show's last original judge, who gave up that role a year ago to be a mentor to contestants -- has now left "Idol" completely. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. return as judges, but the contestants will have a new backstage mentor: Scott Borchetta, the president of Big Machine Records and the person who discovered Taylor Swift.
Another new twist comes in the form of a second prize. “American Idol” will give $50,000 to a friend or family member who encouraged the grand prize winner to audition, "Entertainment Tonight" reports.
These changes likely have to do with “American Idol” ratings. Last season ended with a 28 percent drop in ratings from Season 13, with just over 10 million viewers on average tuning in. That’s a major slide from 2011 when 29.3 million viewers were tuning in. The lower ratings are also likely behind Coca-Cola's decision to no longer sponsor the show.
"American Idol" Season 14 premieres Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. EST on Fox. Are you more likely to tune in now that you've heard the top 24 contestants? Sound off in the comments section below!