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'American Idol' returns for its 10th season on Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Thursday, Jan. 20, on FOX

by jmaloni
Tue, Jan 11th 2011 02:00 pm

"American Idol" is set to return for its 10th season with new judges, new talent and new surprises along the way. This season's judges - Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler - are a triple-threat of credibility, chemistry and talent. Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, whose career as a music producer and record executive is unparalleled, will serve as the in-house mentor. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the two-night season premiere kicks off with auditions from New York/New Jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 19 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) and New Orleans on Thursday, Jan. 20 (8-9 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX.

After the two-night premiere, auditions will continue for three weeks on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"American Idol" auditions continue in Hollywood on Wednesday, Feb. 16 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 17 (8-9 p.m. ET/PT) with the hopefuls who received tickets to Hollywood from the judges. The contestants who make it through Hollywood will then head to Las Vegas for the first time ever to perform Beatles songs on the Cirque du Soleil LOVE stage Wednesday, Feb. 23 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT). The auditions will conclude on Thursday, Feb. 24 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) when the judges reveal - in an exciting new twist - 20 semifinalists (10 guys and 10 girls).

The semifinalists compete on Tuesday, March 1, and Wednesday, March 2 (8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT). The five male and five female contestants with the most votes will be the first to join this season's finalists. The judges' will also make their special "Wild Card" picks rounding out the finalists on Thursday, March 3 (8-9 p.m. ET/PT).

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