Big Changes In Store for "American Idol"

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With a new panel of judges, you can bet that means there will be other big changes to "American Idol." Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed to TVGuide.com that the finalists will face new challenges, including contests to make the best... 000_005_275_jordinai

With a new panel of judges, you can bet that means there will be other big changes to "American Idol."

Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed to TVGuide.com that the finalists will face new challenges, including contests to make the best music video, to promote themselves, and to work with a band and dancers for an awards show-style performance.

They have also eliminated the round that shrinks the contestants from a group of 24 to 12, instead opting to just go straight to the top 12.

"I didn't think [the top 24] were very good, I was bored with them by the time they got there," Lythgoe says of previous seasons.

It has been previously announced that theme weeks will focus on decades rather than a particular artist. Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, will act as an in-house mentor. Lythgoe says they've been seeing an even wider range of talent than in previous seasons, including many country, indie and jazz singers.

So how are new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler doing? "They both listen intently, and don't make glib remarks," he says. "They give honest critiques. Randy is pulling his weight," Lythgoe continues. "He really has stepped up. He's essentially come out of himself. He's enjoying being in that position."

Check out the latest promo for the new season, featuring past winners below.

What do you think of the changes? Will you watch the new season?

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