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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

American Idol fixes what isn't broken, lowering age limit and dropping Florida towns from audition cities

21

June

Idollogo Ever get the feeling that American Idol's producers live in a bizarrro world where enabling host Ryan Seacrest's oddball diversions and alienating Glee fans with constant overruns is a good thing?

Now the show has announced changes which offer a similar jarring inconsistency, lowering the show's age for singers by one year and eliminating any Florida community from the list of audition cities.

Justin-bieber-favorite-girl1-500x5001 Singers young as 15 and old as 28 can now audition for the program, ensuring that the crop of vocalists up for next year's cycle of competition will be even greener and less experienced than in years past.

Given that teen pop star Justin Bieber told the press he was scooped up by a record company while waiting to grow old enough for an Idol audition, perhaps the show is just locking the barn door after the real American Idol has already gone.

This does little to address the main complaint about this year's contestant pool -- that too many were too uninteresting and and unimpressive as performers.

Susan-boyle-oprah-invite It's also an odd change, given that the biggest pop star unearthed by a TV show recently, fortysomething plain jane powerhouse Susan Boyle, was only discovered because the show which featured her, Britain's Got Talent, has no age limit for performers.

Does this signal a bit of capitulation by Idol producers? Have they resigned themselves to the fact that tweens dominate the voting, lowering the age limit to pack the contestant pool with singers closer to the age of the voters?

Idol also announced a list of audition cities which do not include Orlando or Miami, despite the fact that four of the show's Top 24 performers this year -- including fourth place St. Peteresburg native Michael "Big Mike" Lynche -- had connections to the Sunshine State.

At this rate, they just might choose Poison singer Bret Michaels to replace Simon Cowell. In a world where ignoring the state that produced a Top Four finisher makes sense, anything seems possible.

Read the official release below:

“AMERICAN IDOL” SEASON 10 AUDITIONS BEGIN SATURDAY, JULY 17 IN NASHVILLE, TN
 
MILWAUKEE, WI; NEW ORLEANS, LA; EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ; AUSTIN, TX; AND SAN FRANCISCO, CA, WILL ALSO HOST AUDITIONS THIS SUMMER
 
15-YEAR-OLDS ELIGIBLE TO AUDITION FOR FIRST TIME EVER

Before AMERICAN IDOL, Lee DeWyze worked as a paint store clerk in Mt. Prospect, IL. Kris Allen was a college student from Conway, AR. David Cook tended bar in Blue Springs, MO. Chris Daughtry was a service advisor at a car dealership in Greensboro, NC. Carrie Underwood lived on a farm in Checotah, OK. Jennifer Hudson was a cruise ship performer from Chicago, IL. Kelly Clarkson was a waitress from Dallas, TX. One audition changed the rest of their lives.

Once again, aspiring singers will have the incredible opportunity to audition in cities across the country to become the next AMERICAN IDOL as the No. 1 show on television begins auditions for its milestone 10th season on Saturday, July 17 in Nashville, TN. The search for the next singing superstar will continue in Milwaukee, WI, on Wednesday, July 21; New Orleans, LA, on Monday, July 26; East Rutherford, NJ, on Tuesday, Aug. 3; Austin, TX, on Wednesday, Aug. 11; and San Francisco, CA, on Thursday, Aug. 19.

In celebration of the momentous 10th anniversary and in an effort to continue to find the best undiscovered talent in the nation, AMERICAN IDOL is expanding the eligibility age range for the first time ever to include hopefuls from 15 to 28 years old. (The previous minimum age requirement was 16.)

“A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16,” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, executive producer of AMERICAN IDOL. “Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool.”

AMERICAN IDOL auditions will be held as follows:

Cities                                      Dates                                      Venues          

Nashville, TN                           Saturday, July 17                    Bridgestone Arena

Milwaukee, WI                         Wednesday, July 21               Bradley Center

New Orleans, LA                     Monday, July 26                      TBA

East Rutherford, NJ                Tuesday, Aug. 3                      IZOD Center   

Austin, TX                                Wednesday, Aug. 11              Frank Erwin Center

San Francisco, CA                 Thursday, Aug. 19                   AT&T Park

 

[Last modified: Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:15pm]

    

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