Fox’s “American Idol” will reveal its new stage next Tuesday when the show’s live episodes begin. In many ways, all of the shows’ changes since last season have been building to this stage of the production.
“We have to do the audition shows and we have to do the Hollywood shows – and we love them, but we’re all looking forward to the live shows and so is the audience,” executive producer Per Blankens told TheWrap and other reporters on Friday.
From appointing live sports veteran David Hill into the supervising executive spot for Fox and hiring MTV VMA producers Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager, Grammys and Emmys director Louis J. Horvitz, as well as luring Rickey Minor back from “The Tonight Show” as musical director, all signs point to the upcoming live shows as the test of whether all the changes to improve this season have been worth it.
Starting with live rounds, viewers will be able to start voting at the top of the show instead of waiting until it ends. A new Facebook partnership will give insight into how the votes are trending – the first time “Idol” has ever revealed anything about the results live.
Fox revealed the new stage for reporters on Friday – a collaboration between the producers, director and set designer Baz Halpin.
Here’s what to expect:
1) 360-degree camera access
As many as 18 cameras can capture the stage from virtually all angles, giving it some flexibility.
2) New judges’ desk located in the center of the room that turns 360 degrees
Depending on which stage the show is using. One reporter compared it to a “lazy susan.”
3) Two stages
There will be a main stage and a B stage, which will make its debut during next week’s rush week. It will provide “intimacy” for eliminations and options for using both stages during performances.
4) Audience goes up three levels
About 600 people will surround the stage, including the obligatory standing-only mosh pit and three levels of seats. “We have a lot of fans all the way to the ceiling,” described Ignjatovic.
5.) Band split into sections left and right of the stage
See the video above.
“American Idol” will reduce the Top 31 to 13 starting with the Top Girls performing on Tuesday at 8/7c.