24 hours of American Idol will air before the top 12 start performing in March

Before the top 12 start performing, American Idol 6 will broadcast 24 hours of auditions, semifinal performances, and semifinal eliminations. One entire day.

This year, the Hollywood round on American Idol 6 has actually been compressed to just two one-hour episodes, according to the schedule FOX released. Idol Chatter speculates that’s because “ratings tend to flatten or sink during the middle parts. Indeed, Australian Idol increased its ratings by burning through the semi-final rounds.

Anyway, those two Hollywood episodes will air Feb. 13 and 14, following eight nights of auditions, some of which will last for two hours. After the crowd is narrowed to 24, two men and two women will go home every week from Feb. 20 to March 8, and during that time, Idol will again expand to three nights per week (a Tuesday performance for the men, a Wednesday performance for the women, and a Thursday results show).

The top 12 will start performing in the middle of March at exactly the same time that they did last year, which works out because the auditions have been expanded. Here’s the complete schedule, so you can cancel any conflicting appointments or plans:

Tuesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 1 Minneapolis Auditions

Wednesday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM) Season Premiere, Part 2 Seattle Auditions

Tuesday, Jan. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) Memphis Auditions

Wednesday, Jan. 24 (9:00-10:00 PM) New York City Auditions

Tuesday, Jan. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM) Birmingham Auditions

Wednesday, Jan. 31 (9:00-10:00 PM) San Antonio Auditions

Tuesday, Feb. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Los Angeles Auditions

Wednesday, Feb. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM) Rest of the Best Auditions

Tuesday, Feb. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1

Wednesday, Feb. 14 (9:00-10:00 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2 Top 24 Semifinalists Announced

Tuesday, Feb. 20 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Male Singers Perform

Wednesday, Feb. 21 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Female Singers Perform

Thursday, Feb. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM) First Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Voted Off

Tuesday, Feb. 27 (8:00-9:30 PM) Top 10 Male Singers Perform

Wednesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-9:30 PM) Top 10 Female Singers Perform

Thursday, March 1 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Voted Off

Tuesday, March 6 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Male Singers Perform

Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 PM) Top 8 Female Singers Perform

Thursday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT) Two Male and Two Female Contestants Voted Off; Top 12 Finalists Revealed

Tuesday, March 13 (8:00-10:00 PM) Top 12 Finalists Perform

Wednesday, March 14 (9:00-9:30 PM) Results Show (Live ET/Tape-Delayed PT) One Contestant Voted Off

‘American Idol,’ the No. 1 Show of Last Season, Returns January 16 and 17 on FOX [FOX press release]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.