Change hit AI this past season with the thunder of an Adam Lambert concert entrance.
Among other things:
– No. 4 judge Kara DioGuardi was added.
– There were three weeks of audition shows, not four.
– The semifinal round number was increased from 24 to 36.
– The Wild Card round, ousted after season No. 3, returned and allowed the judges to pick ousted contestants to return to the competition.
– The “Idol Gives Back” charity was eliminated, but it will return for season No. 9 and then continue every other season.
– The final 12 actually became a final 13 to everyone’s surprise.

The audience responded rather favorably to the alterations although there were varying degrees of like/dislike for Kara, not everyone backed the “save” option and the Final 13 sted of 12 … well it did seem rather clunky.
But what do the contestants think needs to be altered?
IdolChatter polled a few of them before last weekend’s AI Tour stop in Oakland. Here are their feelings:

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Michael Sarver:

“I think they should change it back to the way it was. I ddn’t care for the way they selected he Top 13. We had to see nine very good people go at one time. They should go back to a Top 24 where they can sing and a have a choice in what they sing.
“I really think they should have an Original Week where you sing your own original music. If you are going to judge someone on their artistry then don’t let them simply interpret someone else’s artistry.
“An original week would be priceless.”

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Scott MacIntyre

“Changes? Drop the save option. Keep the 36. The Top 13? Well, that’s about it, they can’t keep increasing on that number, can they?
“They should probably run with what has worked. People aren’t going to watch again next year because they’ll be thinking, ‘I wonder what they’ll change this year.’ They’ll watch because of the talent and the personalities.
“You knew me before you knew my music, which is very untraditional. But I guess change is necessary to a degree. American Idol can’t last forever.”

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Anoop Desai

“I wish they would be stricter and stay away from the gimmicks. Bikini Girl and Tatiana were ridiculous this season.”

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Allison Iraheta:

“I don’t know. I do think that keeping that fourth judge is a good thing. Getting another critique of your work is always a good thing.”
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