Welcome back, “AMERICAN IDOL”!

The incredible journey begins with a Two-Night premiere Wednesday, Jan. 18 and Thursday, Jan. 19

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 5:16pm

Auditions continue with a special broadcast Sunday, Jan. 22 following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME on FOX 48

Hollywood Rounds Begin Thursday, February 9
Performance Challenge Airs Wednesday, February 22
Semifinalists Revealed Thursday, February 23
Semifinalist Perform Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, February 29
America’s Vote Reveals Finalists Thursday, March 1

The incredible journey is about to begin as AMERICAN IDOL, America’s No. 1 show, returns for its remarkable eleventh season. Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and returning judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, AMERICAN IDOL is set to return with a two-night event showcasing the nation’s most extraordinary talent Wednesday, Jan. 18 (7:00-9:00 p.m.) and Thursday, Jan. 19 (7:00-8:00 p.m.). Auditions will continue with a special, extended primetime broadcast of AMERICAN IDOL Sunday, Jan. 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m.), following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (5:00 p.m.-CC live) on WNTZ-TV FOX 48.

The show’s judges – Jackson, Lopez and Tyler – traveled to Savannah, Aspen, Galveston, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis in search of contestants with the raw talent and potential to become the next AMERICAN IDOL. Auditions continue on Wednesday, Jan. 25 (7:00-8:00 p.m.) and Thursday, Jan. 26 (7:00-8:00 p.m.); Wednesday, Feb. 1 (7:00-8:00 p.m.) and Thursday, Feb. 2 (7:00-8:00 p.m.); and Wednesday, Feb. 8 (7:00-8:00 p.m.) on FOX 48.

The contestants who impress the judges will head to Hollywood and be put to the ultimate test during the “Hollywood Rounds,” airing Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT); Wednesday, Feb. 15 (7:00-9:00 p.m.); and Thursday, Feb. 16 (7:00-8:00 p.m.).

On Wednesday, Feb. 22 (7:00-9:00 p.m.), those who make it through Hollywood must then take the “Performance Challenge,” where they face the judges one last time before the top male and top female semifinalists are revealed on Thursday, Feb. 23 (7:00-8:00 p.m.).

The judges have their say after every performance, but it’s the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of the competition and who will go home. In the milestone 400th episode, airing on a special night, Tuesday, Feb. 28 (7:00-9:00 p.m.), the first group of semifinalists will take the stage to sing for America’s votes.

The following night, Wednesday, Feb. 29 (7:00-9:00 p.m.), the remaining semifinalists will perform. The competition takes an intense turn on the two-hour LIVE results show Thursday, March 1 (7:00-9:00 p.m.) as America’s vote reveals the first set of finalists, then those that remain will have one last chance to perform for the judges who will round out the 2012 AMERICAN IDOL finalists with their wild card picks.

The following week, the competition heats up when the finalists take the stage on Wednesday, March 7 (7:00-9:00 p.m. live). One finalist’s journey will end as America’s vote is revealed on Thursday, March 8 (7:00-8:00 p.m.).

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