American Idol Gets Simon-Less Show on the Road

Reality juggernaut announces six audition dates for 10th season; producers have lowered minimum contestant age to 15

By Gina Serpe Jun 21, 2010 4:45 PMTags
Lee DeWyze, Ryan Seacrest, American IdolVince Bucci/Fox

The American Idol juggernaut stops for no man. Not even Simon Cowell.

With nary a replacement in sight and with the ink barely dry on Lee DeWyze's contract (remember him?), the powers that be over at Fox's slightly dwindling reality smash are ready to find the next stubbly, kinda cute, adult-contempo, nonthreatening white guy to shove down middle America's throats.

Uh, American Idol. We meant American Idol. But don't be fooled—this isn't your grandfather's audition round.

Now, it's all about distraction. Sure they may not have Simon, but look! Younger auditioners! New cities! Even more woeful backstories!

Starting on July 17, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest and, we're guessing, a revolving door of guest judges, will hit the road for the six-date audition process kicking off the 10th season of the show.

And this time, they're going to be able to crush dreams before they have the chance to fully develop, as producers have lowered the minimum audition age from 16 to 15 (you can't drive a car but you can be humiliated on national television!). The elder contestants will once again be capped at 28 (not that that stopped Gen. Larry Platt).

Unlike years past, producers appear to have taken pity on judges' eardrums, as the panel is so far slated to spend just one day in each city. Here's the full list of audition dates:

• July 17: Nashville
• July 21: Milwaukee
• July 26: New Orleans
• Aug. 3: East Rutherford, N.J.
• Aug. 11: Austin, Texas
• Aug. 19: San Francisco

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Where are your past Idol faves now? Funny you should ask...