Rumour has it, this year's finale will be held in the Big Apple for the first time.
American Idol's 13th season could be held in New York City, if there's any truth to the rumours currently flying around. The upcoming new season of the singing talent contest is preparing for launch but has beefed up its usual format and streamlined its panel of judges.
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Apparently, plans are in place to have the final contestants battle it out on stage at the city's prestigious Madison Square Gardens in front of a giant arena audience of 8,000, according to THR. De-camping from L.A to NYC would represent a major move for the show, which has seen a decline in ratings to rival show The Voice in recent years.
Since season 7, the final has been broadcast live from L.A's Nokia Theatre, not far from where it was originally held at the Kodak Theatre (now Dolby). A new venue could also mean a host of new professional bill, a consistently enviable roster of acts that last season included Psy, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull.
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This will be the first season Randy Jackson won't be judging and instead former judge and pop star and last year's finale performer Jennifer Lopez will be returning to join brand new judge Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban. It is hoped that the panel will gel better this year as last season's contestant's hard work was overshadowed by the bitter squabbling between diva judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
Last season's failures is clearly something that is apparent to this new vehicle of judges, which bodes well for a cohesive contest, "I think the focus is back where it's supposed to be on everything: All the positivity that is American Idol, all the dream that is American Idol and all the emotion that is American Idol," Lopez told USA Today.
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"It's different in every way," Urban added. "We learned so much from last year about what this show is really about at its core and why it's been the flagship show of its kind. It's about the artists."