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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

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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