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Burning ‘Idol’ Qs Answered: Is Twitter a Spoiler? Who Picked Steven Tyler?

Randy, Steven and the show’s execs take the volleys at Paleyfest

There were a few no shows at the Paleyfest 2011 event honoring “American Idol” on Monday night.

The three minors left in the Top 12 — Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Thia Megia  — were in “school.” There was no night off for the rest of the cast, however. They were heading back to the studio to rehearse after the 90-minute program ended around 8:30 p.m.

Also read: 5 Reasons "Idol" Surprised Us All and Bounced Back

Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, Executive Producer Ken Warwick, and Fox Alternative President Mike Darnell did most of the talking, as they fielded questions from fans and media while harmonizing on message about the “comeback” season.

When does Executive Producer Ken Warwick get the results of the vote?
“I have a very good indication by about 11 at night (after the Wednesday night performance shows),” he told TheWrap earlier in the night backstage. “But, we have to go to Hawaii after that, so we don’t get the final vote until 2 o’clock in the morning,” he explained. “I have a pretty reasonable idea by 10 or 11 (PST).”

Are the contestant Twitter accounts recently launched by the network backdoor spoilers?
Warwick downplayed TheWrap’s suggestion, saying, “I don’t read Twitter, so I can’t really say.” The relative number of each contestant’s followers appears to be related to their popularity at this point. As of Monday night:

Casey Abrams: 28,686

Scotty McCreery: 28,301 (First person put into the Top 10)

Paul McDonald: 23,978

Lauren Alaina: 20,530

Thia Megia: 20,120

Pia Toscano: 18,940

James Durbin: 18,477

Stefano Langone: 16,727

Jacob Lusk: 11,208

Haley Reinhart: 10,048 (Bottom 3 last week)

Karen Rodriguez: 10,047 (Bottom 3 Last Week)

Naima Adedapo: 9,322 (Not voted in by America, saved by judges)

Ashthon Jones: 6,629 (Voted off last Thursday)

Who came up with the idea of Steven Tyler?
Mike Darnell. Darnell said that he saw “40 people” for the third judge and had never met the Aerosmith frontman. Darnell bonded with him immediately when he walked in to the meeting to find Tyler playing the piano he keeps in his office.

Warwick added that Jennifer Lopez was slotted in early in the process, and the difficult part was “finding the right personality,” to mix with Jackson and J. Lo.

When did the new judging panel first come face to face?
Ryan Seacrest hosted an icebreaker dinner at his house the night before the official announcement on Sept. 22. It was the first time the three had been in the same room together, though Randy and Steven had done a lunch.

This year’s sad “send-off” song is a David Cook cover of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. Has Warwick seen a thank-you basket from the ‘80s rockers for the weekly licensing windfall?
“Can you believe it, no? It’s unbelievable isn’t it?” Warwick told TheWrap.

Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger, recently tapped by the Academy to anchor their live Oscar stream, hosted the panel. The “Idol” event was sponsored by Netflix, Zune, and the L.A. Times, among others. Paleyfest 2011 continues through Thursday.