American Idol Update: Wild Card Round Out, Simon Cowell to Follow?

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We're less than a month away from the premiere of American Idol season nine.

While the major show news over the last few months involved Ellen DeGeneres as the new judge; the latest buzz regarding the competition revolves around the man that truly makes the series what it is: Simon Cowell.

According to Simon's brother Tony, a radio personality with a weekly podcast: “A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of ‘X Factor’ to U.S. TV in 2011.”

If true, that would make this Cowell's final season as a panelist. Would you even watch American Idol if he left?

Simon

Regarding the season itself, Fox announced a few key dates for it this week:

  • January 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; February 2, 3: Nationwide auditions for Hollywood. Rotating guest judges will include Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, and Shania Twain.
  • February 9: Hollywood rounds. DeGeneres debuts.
  • February 17: 24 semifinalists announced.
  • March 16: 12 finalists announced.

Also of note: there will be no Wild Card round this year, as the controversial addition to last season's Idol gave the judges the power to keep one contestant on even after he/she was voted off by viewers.

Remember: THG is your destination for complete American Idol recaps, videos and commentaries once the season begins!

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