'American Idol' Announces Format Changes
Mon, 15 Dec 2008 17:26:45
American Idol held a telephone news conference today, confirming rumors of some major revisions to the eighth season of the long-running reality show.
"There were no panic changes," insisted executive producer Ken Warwick. "This show wouldn't be on the TV for eight years if it wasn't doing it right."
Maybe not, but times are definitely a-changing. Among the switches are: three judge-chosen "wild card" finalists, pitted against nine viewer ones; three weeks of tryouts instead of four; 36 Hollywood-bound finalists instead of 24; and less of a reliance on bad audition footage. Speaking of, Warwick responded to claims that he put judge Paula Abdul in harm's way by letting Paula Goodspeed—a reported stalker who committed suicide near Abdul's Los Angeles home in November—audition.
"I would definitely not put a dangerous person or person I thought was remotely dangerous in front of the judges," Warwick said.
As for rumors of an Abdul rift, Warwick responded by saying, "There's never been any discussion that we would want to get rid of Paula."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff