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[01/08/12 - 09:16 AM]
Welcome Back, "American Idol" - The Incredible Journey Begins With a Two-Night Premiere Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19
Plus: look for the show's 400th episode on a special night, Tuesday, February 28.

[via press release from FOX]

WELCOME BACK, "AMERICAN IDOL"

THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A TWO-NIGHT PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18 AND THURSDAY, JANUARY 19; AUDITIONS CONTINUE WITH A SPECIAL BROADCAST SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 FOLLOWING THE "NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME" ON FOX

Hollywood Rounds Begin Thursday, February 9

Performance Challenge Airs Wednesday, February 22

Semifinalists Revealed Thursday, February 23

Semifinalists Perform Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, February 29

America's Vote Reveals Finalists Thursday, March 1

The incredible journey is about to begin as AMERICAN IDOL, America's No. 1 show, returns for its remarkable 11th season. Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and returning judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, AMERICAN IDOL is set to return with a two-night event showcasing the nation's most extraordinary talent Wednesday, Jan. 18 and Thursday, Jan. 19. Auditions will continue with a special, extended primetime broadcast of AMERICAN IDOL Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT), following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (6:00 PM-CC ET live/3:00 PM-CC PT live) on FOX.

The show's judges - Jackson, Lopez and Tyler - traveled to Savannah, Aspen, Galveston, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis in search of contestants with the raw talent and potential to become the next AMERICAN IDOL. Auditions continue on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 26; Wednesday, Feb. 1 and Thursday, Feb. 2; and Wednesday, Feb. 8 on FOX.

The contestants who impress the judges will head to Hollywood and be put to the ultimate test during the "Hollywood Rounds," airing Thursday, Feb. 9; Wednesday, Feb. 15; and Thursday, Feb. 16.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, those who make it through Hollywood must then take the "Performance Challenge," where they face the judges one last time before the top male and top female semifinalists are revealed on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The judges have their say after every performance, but it's the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of the competition and who will go home. In the milestone 400th episode, airing on a special night, Tuesday, Feb. 28, the first group of semifinalists will take the stage to sing for America's votes.

The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 29, the remaining semifinalists will perform. The competition takes an intense turn on the LIVE results show Thursday, March 1 as America's vote reveals the first set of finalists, then those that remain will have one last chance to perform for the judges who will round out the 2012 AMERICAN IDOL finalists with their wild card picks.

The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists take the stage on Wednesday, March 7. One finalist's journey will end as America's vote is revealed on Thursday, March 8.

All AMERICAN IDOL episodes begin at 8/7c unless otherwise noted.

RECAP

Wednesday, Jan. 18 Season Premiere, Part 1

Thursday, Jan. 19 Season Premiere, Part 2

Sunday, Jan. 22 Auditions Episode (Special Broadcast) (10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT)

Wednesday, Jan. 25 Auditions Episode

Thursday, Jan. 26 Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 1 Auditions Episode

Thursday, Feb. 2 Auditions Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 8 Auditions Episode

Thursday, Feb. 9 Hollywood Round, Part 1

Wednesday, Feb. 15 Hollywood Round, Part 2

Thursday, Feb. 16 Hollywood Round, Part 3

Wednesday, Feb. 22 Performance Challenge

Thursday, Feb. 23 Semifinalists Announced

Tuesday, Feb. 28 Semifinalists Perform/ 400th Episode (Special Broadcast)

Wednesday, Feb. 29 Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 1 Results Show; Finalists Announced and Judges' Wild Card Picks Revealed (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Wednesday, March 7 Finalists Perform

Thursday, March 8 Results Show; First Elimination (ET live/PT tape-delayed)

Visit americanidol.com for all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.

Become a fan of AMERICAN IDOL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanIdol. Follow the series on Twitter @AmericanIdol and join the discussion at #AmericanIdol. Also, follow host Ryan Seacrest at @RyanSeacrest, and follow the judges: @yo_randyjackson; @JLo; and @iamstevent.

AMERICAN IDOL is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc. and FremantleMedia North America, Inc. The series is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, CEO, XIX Entertainment, and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, CEO, Nigel Lythgoe Productions. AMERICAN IDOL has been No. 1 among Adults 18-49 for the past eight consecutive seasons.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)











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