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Big Changes In Store for Idol?

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Dec. 15 2008, Published 9:28 a.m. ET

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In the never-ending search to keep its formula interesting, it looks like American Idol is planning some big changes for the upcoming season of the hit Fox talent search.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it is expected the the Idol folks will be announcing several updates to the show — which has its season premiere on Jan. 13 — at a Monday press conference.

Perhaps in the wake of the Paula Goodspeed tragedy and ensuing scandal, it's expected that there will be less of a focus on the thousands of delusional hopefuls and more interest in real talent. That means fewer audition episodes and more shows that showcase the "Hollywood" round. 

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It's also believed that we'll see a huge increase in the number of semifinalists — from 24 to 36, as well as a return of the Wild Card round, where previously eliminated contestants get a second shot at stardom.

Sadly, one rumored change to the show is that there will be no Idol Gives Back this season; ironically, at a time when people need it the most.

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