‘American Idol’ Season 14 Kicks Off With Online Viewer Voting Competition

Fans will send one lucky singer featured on AmericanIdol.com through to the Hollywood round

“American Idol” is gearing up for its 14th season and for the first time ever fans will be able to choose one hopeful from a group of online contestants to advance through to Hollywood Week.

“Idol” producers have chosen four contenders to compete in the online “America’s Choice” Ticket competition. Voting begins Friday and continues through Oct. 21 on americanidol.com/poll. Fans can also vote for their favorite contestants using the hashtags found on americanidol.com/poll on Facebook or Twitter.

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The four competitors in the online competition are: Emily Claire Shlesinger of Dallas, TX, Kay Leon of Brooklyn, NY, Raven Symone Basden or Miramar, FL, and Tyler Clark of Ephraim, Utah.

Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. all return to the judge’s panel this year, with Ryan Seacrest returning to host.

Auditions began in mid-September in the New York City area with guest judge Adam Lambert filling in for Urban, who was with wife Nicole Kidman whose father had passed away.

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Last spring, then Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters that “American Idol” would air a much fewer 39 hours next spring (as opposed to 50+ in previous seasons), in conjunction with the show’s declining ratings.

“I think you’ll see a two-night format initially, at least during the audition phase, but I think it’s quite likely — and we haven’t locked into it exactly — but I think it’s quite likely that it’ll be a two-hour show on one night through most of its run,” Reilly said.