American Idol is coming back for its 11th season, and many fans are ready for its return.
"'I've been hearing a lot of 'We can't wait,'" Ryan Seacrest told ABC News Radio. "Actually, I've been hearing more 'I can't wait for 'American Idol' to come back this next season' than I've heard in two or three years.'"
The FOX singing-talent competition is set to return on January 18 to wow fans with new talent. The show will return with a two-night event on Wednesday and Thursday showcasing the nation's best - and worst - auditions from the road. Ryan Seacrest, the show's longtime host, explained how he feels that now that the judges are more experienced and used to each other, things will go smoother.
"The first season ... Steven and Jennifer, were still sort of trying to understand what it is that you're looking for initially to go through the process to be the Idol," Seacrest explained. "But now that they see what the process is, I think, they look at the auditions a little differently. And 'tougher' wouldn't be the word, but they're much more specific in what they want this year."
It was announced in June 2011 that Steven Tyler would be returning for show's 11th season, however Jennifer Lopez, who signed a one-year contract, was unsure. Later it was confirmed that Lopez would in fact be returning, making the cast of judges the same as season 10.
With past contestants such as Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and others reaching such great fame, the show has only heightened in popularity. Last season, Scotty McCreery won, and marked a turning point for the show.
"When we started the competition, it was just pop," Seacrest said. "It was strictly, mainstream, stereotypical pop and with each year it's broadened out a little bit, and now you see all walks of life auditioning. It makes the show interesting."
The season premiere is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday January 18, and then continues Thursday night and again on Sunday night - Will you tune in? Vote in our poll below.