Fans of “American Idol” are pretty accustomed to the way the last two nights of the Hollywood Round tend to go.
On the first night, the remaining singers do their last solo performances for the judges. They’re subsequently split into a number of different rooms. The contestants in a couple of the rooms are safe, while the contestants in a couple of rooms are collectively heading home.
On the second night, those who survive the first set of eliminations get to face The Chair. One by one (or, in some years, two by two), they go up to a special room, where they face the judges and are told if they’ve made the Top 24 (or Top 36).
It’s a structure as old as time itself (or at least a structure that “American Idol” has followed reliably for several years now).
This year will be different.
Facing the juggernaut of the Winter Olympics, FOX’s own juggernaut has decided to mix things up.
FOX announced on Monday that “some” of the Top 24 semifinalists will be announced during Tuesday’s (Feb. 16) two-hour “American Idol” episode.
According to the vaguely worded FOX press release, Tuesday’s episode will begin with the final solo performances and then, following those performances, the judges will deliberate and announce some of the Top 24 semifinalists.
Does that mean that we’re foregoing the Russian Roulette of rooms? Or that we’re foregoing The Chair of Doom? Or that we’re still doing the Russian Roulette of rooms and we’re still doing the Chair of Doom, but the last couple minutes of Tuesday’s episode will just be what the first couple of minutes of Wednesday’s episode would have been?
Either way, FOX is hoping that spreading the Top 24 reveal out over two night will help either “American Idol” beat the Olympics or, at the very least, close the potential gap.
Stay tuned to see if it works.