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article imageAmerican Idol and Jackson, Lopez and Tyler set for Season 11

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 18, 2012 in Entertainment
After two seasons of waning numbers 'American Idol' picked up last season and heads into its 11th season on Wed., Jan. 18, 2012 with great expectations. The show has competition but it also has a returning panel that America seemed to love.
That panel is, of course, Randy Jackson, who has been there all along, Jennifer Lopez and the 63-year-old rock'n'roll legend, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. While some critics and fans found them to be a little on the positive side - Simon Cowell's caustic wit had decamped - others found them amusing and insightful. Ryan Seacrest remains as the host.
American Idol Season 10: Ratings Up
The ratings went up considerably over Season 9 - the finale was up 17 percent - with the cast of Jackson, Cowell, Ellen Degeneres and Kara DioGuardi never really drawing the kind of numbers the show had known. Degeneres may have been funny but said herself it wasn't the right fit for her, and that may have showed while DioGuardi did not stand out. For some the loss of Cowell made the panel less exciting, though others thought Jackson did so well as the 'go to' panelist that Cowell wasn't missed.
Certainly last year's new cast were refreshing as they went through the auditioning process. By the time they got to Hollywood and the final 12? Maybe not as fresh but by that time the singers took over, possibly as fine a final 10 as the show has seen. The winner, Scotty McCreery, will surely join the ranks of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood as bonafide 'American Idol' stars. Runner-up Lauren Alaina was also exceptional.
Auditions get underway on 'American Idol'
This season the show faces competition. Cowell has returned to American television, along with Paula Abdul, on his own show, also on Fox,'The X-Factor'. It only drew half the numbers of 'American Idol' but is very much a player. A twin to Cowell's Brit version, the 'X-Factor' finished season one a month ago but some viewers might not be ready to invest in another singing show so soon. Yet another show, 'The Voice,' less successful, starts its second season on NBC on Feb. 5, beginning with a splash right after the Superbowl.
'American Idol' Season 11 gets underway at 8 pm (7 central) on Wednesday, with another show in the same time slot the following night. There is also a special one hour show on Sunday night between 10-11 ET. The cities they auditioned in this season are St. Louis, Portland, San Diego, Houston, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Denver and in the state of New Jersey.
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