FOX sets full ‘American Idol’ 2012 schedule

Over its 10 seasons, “American Idol” fans have learned which part of the process they enjoy most, whether it’s the freakshow auditions, the early rounds of live shows or climactic talent showcases at the Top 4 or Top 5. 
With that in mind, FOX has announced the full schedule for the 2012 “American Idol” season so that you can plan your spring accordingly.
As was previously revealed, the “American Idol” season will kick off with audition episodes on Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, January 19. The season will also get a boost from a special Sunday, January 22 episode airing after the NFC Championship Game.
Audition episodes will continue on Jan. 24, Jan. 26, Feb. 1, Feb. 2 and Feb. 8.
Whew. That’s a lot of auditions.
Viewers will then be treated to three Hollywood Rounds episodes on Feb. 9, 15 and 16. 
In a new twist, the Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 episodes are described as Performance Challenge episodes, with the semifinal announcement coming during the Feb. 23 show.
The semifinals will be reduced to a lone week. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the show’s 400th episode, the first group of semifinalists will perform. A second group will perform the following night. And on March 1, America’s vote and judges’ wild cards will yield your “American Idol” finalists.
And yes, that means that March 7 and March 8 will be the “Idol” season’s first regular Wednesday and Thursday performance episodes.