American Idol 2016 Semi-Final Schedule Revealed
With Hollywood Week nearing its end, we’re now learning what the schedule will be for American Idol 2016 Semi-Final Rounds. To put it simply, it’s going to be unlike any other Semi-Final in American Idol history.
For one thing, it looks like the Top 24 will be split randomly into two groups of 12 rather than being split by gender (anyone who’s read the spoilers for the Top 24 will know why this is the case). One group will perform on Wednesday, February 10th, with the judges deciding which singers stay and which singers leave on Thursday, February 11th. In total, FIVE singers will be eliminated from the first group. Then, the process repeats itself the next week, with the other 12 singers performing on Wednesday, February 17th, and the judges sending home another five singers on Thursday, February 18th, leaving us with a Top 14. From there, the finalists will be joined by “Favorite former Idols” on Wednesday, February 24th, as the alums “will return to mentor and sing with the contestants.” While it’s unknown whether or not this show will be live or taped, we do know that the episode will be two-hours long, which would seem to suggest a live show (the first two Wednesday performance episodes of the month are an hour apiece, so much like last year, there’s pretty much no way those episodes aren’t going to be taped ahead of time). This all culminates with the final Semi-Final show on Thursday, February 25th, as the Top 10 is revealed. Again, we have yet another mystery on our hands, since it’s not confirmed just who will be picking the Top 10, the judges or the fans. Regardless, this episode will also be two hours long, as the Top 10 will also have their first performances.
For a more detailed look at the schedule, check it out below:
Wednesday February 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) – Semi-Final Round – Twelve of the Top 24 perform
Thursday February 11 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) – Semi-Final Round – “Fan Favorite” Idols return to mentor and sing with the Top 24. The judges vote on who will stay in the competition. FIVE contestants leave the competition.
Wednesday February 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) – Semi-Final Round – Twelve of the Top 24 perform
Thursday February 18 – (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) – Semi-Final Round – “Fan Favorite” Idols return to mentor and sing with the Top 24. The judges vote on who will stay in the competition. FIVE contestants leave the competition. The Top 14 are revealed.
Wednesday February 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) – Semi-Final Round – “Fan Favorite” Idols return to mentor and sing with the Top 14 (presumably).
Thursday February 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) – Top 10 announced and their first performances.
This sounds like a hot mess express. I really have no idea why this season is accelerated. Is Idol really so much of a money-sink for FOX that they want to get the farewell season over with already? You’d think they’d milk this whole farewell season thing, and build it up right, make it really feel momentous. But instead, it feels like FOX just wants to burn the episodes off before May sweeps. For the show to end on schedule, we’ll need to be ditching two singers a week, Voice-style, for at least two weeks of the competition, in order to have a final two by the April 6th final performance show.
In my scenario, it’d go like this:
Thursday February 25 – We go from 14 singers to 10.
Thursday March 3 – 10 to 8
Thursday March 10 – 8 to 6
Thursday March 17 – 6 to 5
Thursday March 24 – 5 to 4
Thursday March 31 – 4 to 3
Wednesday April 6 – 3 to 2
Thursday April 7 – Winner revealed
Of course, you could have the double eliminations at the start, or do it like they did on The Voice last season, and get rid of one person a week before a semifinal bloodbath gets rid of a ton of people. But that was an awful idea then, and it’s an awful idea now. This whole schedule gets even more muddled if the Judges’ Save is back. Granted, I’m not even sure a Judges’ Save is necessary this season. Do the judges really need more power when they’re already calling all the shots in the Semi-Final Rounds? I guess we’ll find out.
What do you think of the schedule for this season? Is shorter better, or would you have liked to see a fuller season? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on American Idol, relive all the drama of the final Group Rounds in American Idol history with our live blog and recap of Hollywood Week!