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OTRC: 'American Idol' up for more changes, says executive producer Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe in a promotional photo for 'So You Think You Can Dance' (Fox)

Get ready to see a totally revamped 'American Idol' on January 12. Along with a new set of judges, which include Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, the show has changed some of its key elements and contestants will face new challenges too.

The elimination round that cuts the contestant pool from 24 to 12 is now gone. Instead, the show will just go straight to 12 final contestants. "I didn't think [the top 24] were very good, I was bored with them by the time they got there," Nigel Lythgoe tells TV Guide magazine. However, he did not specify how the 12 finalists will be chosen.

Theme weeks will also feature decades and instead of just individual artists. The contestants, who may be as young as 15 - thanks to a newly lowered age requirement - will have to make a music video in order to promote themselves during the contest. In addition, record executive Jimmy Iovine, who is the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, will also serve as a mentor to the contestants.

As for the adjustment on the judge's panel, Lythgoe says, "Randy is pulling his weight. He really has stepped up. He's essentially come out of himself. He's enjoying being in that position."

Lopez and Tyler were hired as part of a series shake-up made amid declining ratings and following the departures of Simon Cowell, Ellen Degeneres and Kara Dioguardi.

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