Season 12 of the reality singing competition kicks off with a two-night premiere on Wednesday, January 16, and Thursday, January 17.

American Idol 2013 judges
January 8, 2013

Hollywood Rounds Begin Wednesday, February 6; Top 40 Announced on Thursday, February 14

All-New Semifinalist Rounds in Las Vegas Begin Wednesday, February 20, and Conclude with Special Three-Night IDOL Event Tuesday, March 5, Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7, When Top 10 Finalists are Announced

Hosted by the inimitable Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" Season 12 features a dynamic new judging panel including Randy Jackson, a Grammy Award-winning producer whose expertise and beloved persona have been instrumental in discovering IDOL talent from the beginning; global superstar and the best-selling female recording artist of all time Mariah Carey; quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon Nicki Minaj; and Keith Urban, a four-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 15 million albums. Seacrest and the judges will travel to Charlotte, Chicago, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City and San Antonio to find the next superstar who will join the ranks of IDOL alumni Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.


The incredible journey begins with a two-night event showcasing the nation's best talent from the New York auditions on Wednesday, January 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and the Chicago auditions Thursday, January 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Auditions continue for two more weeks on Wednesday, January 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, January 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, January 30 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, January 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Hollywood Rounds

The contestants who impress the judges will head to "Hollywood" and be put to the ultimate stage test during the "Hollywood Rounds," airing Wednesday, February 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, February 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); and Wednesday, February 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). At the end of the final "Hollywood Round," on Thursday, February 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), only the Top 40 contestants - 20 males and 20 females - will remain.

Semifinalist Rounds - Phase One: Las Vegas

In a new twist, the competition then moves to Las Vegas, where the Top 40 semifinalists will be split into males and females. Starting Wednesday, February 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and continuing Thursday, February 21 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Wednesday, February 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, February 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), 10 semifinalists will perform each night - males on Wednesday, females on Thursday - and the judges will be faced with the tough decision of choosing which five will stay each night and which five will be sent home. At the end of the first stage of the semifinals, only 20 contestants will remain.

Semifinalist Rounds - Phase Two: America Votes

It's up to viewers to vote for who will advance to the Top 10 and who will go home, during a special three-night "American Idol" event. In the season's first live show, airing on a special night, Tuesday, March 5 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining male semifinalists will perform LIVE from Las Vegas for America's vote. On Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed), the remaining female semifinalists will perform LIVE. On Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 PM (ET live/PT tape-delayed), America's vote and the AMERICAN IDOL Top 10 finalists will be revealed in the first elimination show LIVE from Los Angeles.

Finalist Performance Rounds

The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists perform for the first time LIVE on the IDOL stage Wednesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed). One finalist's journey will end as America's vote is revealed on Thursday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live /PT tape-delayed).


(All "American Idol" episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET/PT unless otherwise noted)


• Wednesday, January 16 - Season Premiere, Part 1 - New York Auditions

• Thursday, January 17 - Season Premiere, Part 2 - Chicago Auditions

• Wednesday, January 23 - Audition Episode

• Thursday, January 24 - Audition Episode

• Wednesday, January 30 - Audition Episode

• Thursday, January 31 - Audition Episode

Hollywood Rounds

• Wednesday, February 6 - Hollywood Round, Part 1

• Thursday, February 7 - Hollywood Round, Part 2

• Wednesday, February 13 - Hollywood Round, Part 3

• Thursday, February 14 - Hollywood Round, Part 4 - Top 40 Revealed

Semifinalist Rounds - Phase One: Las Vegas

• Wednesday, February 20 - First Group of 10 Male Singers Perform

• Thursday, February 21 - First Group of 10 Female Singers Perform

• Wednesday, February 27 - Second Group of 10 Male Singers Perform

• Thursday, February 28 - Second Group of 10 Female Singers Perform

Semifinalist Rounds - Phase Two: America Votes

(All LIVE episodes begin at 8:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.)

• Tuesday, March 5 - Top 10 Male Semifinalists Perform LIVE

• Wednesday, March 6 - Top 10 Female Semifinalists Perform LIVE

• Thursday, March 7 - LIVE Results Show; Top 10 Finalists Revealed

Finalist Rounds

• Wednesday, March 13 - Top 10 LIVE Performance Show

• Thursday, March 14 - LIVE Results Show; One Finalist Sent Home

"American Idol" is produced by 19 Entertainment, a division of Core Media Group, and FremantleMedia North America. The series is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, CEO, XIX Entertainment. Trish Kinane, FremantleMedia North America; Ken Warwick, FremantleMedia North America; and Nigel Lythgoe, CEO, Nigel Lythgoe Productions also serve as executive producers.

Season 15

Top 24


Series Regulars