American Idol returns for its ninth season in the USA in January 2010. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the series empowers contestants and viewers to share their voices in deciding who will be America's next singing superstar.
This new season promises to deliver amazing, undiscovered talent with plenty of surprises along the way.
Every year, tens of thousands of hopefuls from across the nation audition for a shot at stardom. The show's judges - Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi - travel across the country in search of the next American Idol.
They winnow down the competitors to a select group of semifinalists who sing their hearts out each week in front of a studio audience and television viewers.
This season, joined by rotating guest judges including Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Shania Twain and Kristin Chenoweth, the American Idol judges visited Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and Orlando in their quest to find performers worthy of the "Golden Ticket" to Hollywood.
Emmy Award-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will join American Idol as the new fourth judge sitting alongside Simon, Randy and Kara. As the new judge, Ellen will offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition.
Idol Gives Back will also return this season and will be held on April 21, 2010 during the Top 7 results show.
The judges have their say after every performance, but it's the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of competition and who will go home.
Voting via telephone and text-messaging begins immediately after each performance show, and the results are announced during the following night's broadcast.
Eventually the competition is narrowed down to two finalists who compete for a major recording contract and the American Idol title.
Past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Kris Allen have become household names and have made their mark on the recording industry.
Emmy Award-winning American Idol is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment Ltd. The series is executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America.
Bruce Gowers serves as director.