'American Idol' announces full season schedule

ryan-seacrest-idol-season-9-320.jpg "American Idol" is back on Tuesday, Jan. 12. This year's slogan is "They all start somewhere."

We can't wait for the ninth season of "American Idol." Between all the exciting guest judges and the addition of Ellen DeGeneres as a permanent judge starting Hollywood Week, we think it could be a really exciting season.

FOX has confirmed to Zap2it that the season 9 schedule is as follows:

Jan. 12: "American Idol" returns with the Boston auditions 
Jan. 13: Atlanta
Jan. 19: Chicago
Jan. 20: Orlando
Jan. 26: Dallas
Jan. 27: Los Angeles
Feb. 2: Denver
Feb. 3: The Road to Hollywood
Feb. 9, 10, 16, 17: Hollywood Week (Ellen DeGeneres joins the judges panel)
Feb. 17: Top 24 semifinalists are revealed (12 men and 12 women)
Feb. 23: Voting begins
March 11: Finalists revealed
March 16: Finalists perform for the first time
April 21: Idol Gives Back

Thoughts & Notes

  • We also know in advance that the Atlanta audition episode is going to run long, so set your DVRs accordingly.
  • We hope "The Road to Hollywood" shows us more good singers we haven't see yet instead of more looney tunes fame-mongers.
  • We're so glad they're back to a Top 24 and splitting up the men and the women. Last year, there were too many men in the Top 12 and too many women who went home who should've advanced.
  • We can assume the finale is Thursday, May 27 and since Idol Gives Back is making its triumphant return (and we assume no one goes home that week), there will be a double-elimination somewhere along the way.

Get excited, guys! "American Idol" is back in three short weeks!!!!

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Photo credit: FOX