American Idol Returns To ITV2 For An 8th Season On January 15 And 16 A new judge, the return of the wild cards and more power to Simon. This can only mean…American Idol Returns To ITV2 For An 8th Season. Four hour season premiere over two days on 15th January at 8pm and 16th January at 9pm on ITV2

The world’s biggest entertainment format American Idol returns exclusively to ITV2 in January 2009 for what promises to be the biggest season yet. Last year saw David Cook win the competition with a record of nearly 100 million votes. Now in its eighth incarnation, the show that has spawned global pop sensations such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks, starts its search across America to find this year’s bright young star to be crowned the next American Idol.

International pop impresario Simon Cowell returns to head up the distinguished panel of judges that include of pop singer and choreographer Paula Abdul and record producer and music manager Randy Jackson. Ryan Seacrest will be continue to assume his duties as host making sure the judges are kept in check. And joining the show this year is Kara DioGuardi as a fourth judge on the panel.

Kara is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has a number of hit tracks to her name. Her songs have been recorded by award-winning artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink. As one of the industry’s most sought after songwriters and producer she will create a new dynamic across the show as she balances the sexes on the judging panel. Simon said “She has experience, she’s written hit songs, she has an opinion, she talks a lot and is well qualified.”

With Kara by her side, Paula finally has some back-up and now there is going to be a lot more ‘girl power’ on the show. Expect Kara and Paula to gang up on Simon throughout the season, who said of the twosome; “What guy would like that? Come on. One is hard enough, two is unbearable! They’ve both got personalities, they’re very forceful. At least I have Randy by my side.” However Simon will have the last word in the event of a judge’s tie. Simon’s take on how the judges will react to his new found power to make or break dreams “I love it. They hate it.”

There will also be a number of other exciting new changes that will keep the audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the season. The Hollywood stage will change as 36 contestants will now go forward (previously 24) to the live semi-final stage. Then the lucky 36 will be divided into three groups of 12. Each group of 12 will perform separately in 3 consecutive weeks with three chosen from each group to make 9 to go into the final stage. However to make up the 12 finalists three more contestants will be brought back as this season sees the return of the wildcard.

Watch the drama unfold, Thursdays and Fridays on ITV2
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