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"American Idol" Announces 2009 Schedule, Brings Back Wild Card Round

December 15, 2008 11:30 AM ET

American Idol plotted out its season-eight schedule today, with this year's competition kicking off January 13th with a two-part season premiere before three weeks of audition episodes. As opposed to the past two seasons, this year there will be no "Idol Gives Back" episode, but instead producers have opted to bring back the fan favorite Wild Card Round, with the Top 12 finalists decided by March 10th. This year, 36 semifinalist will duke it out on air with hopes of advancing to the final 12. For three weeks, three contestants from each batch of 12 will advance on. After the first nine are selected, the Wild Card week will feature the judges rounding out the 12 with their three favorites of the remaining 27 contestants. Another change reportedly includes an emphasis on more talent and less bad singers during the show's audition episodes.

Related Stories:
American Idol's Biggest Winners and Losers
Paula Abdul Criticizes "American Idol" Producers For Allowing Stalker To Audition
"American Idol" Threatens Legal Action Against Josiah Leming

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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