Audition cities announced for American Idol 7

Auditions for American Idol 7 will begin in just over a month, a week earlier than usual, and the show will visit some newer, smaller cities this year.

The show will visit Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Miami, Omaha, Philadelphia, and San Diego, USA TODAY reports. San Diego is up first on July 30. Details about dates and locations are posted on The dates and cities:

  • San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium [Saturday, July 30]
  • Dallas, Texas Stadium [Monday, Aug. 6]
  • Omaha, Qwest Center [Friday, Aug. 10]
  • Atlanta, TBA [Tuesday, Aug. 14]
  • Charleston, North Charleston Coliseum [Saturday, Aug. 18]
  • Miami, American Airlines Arena [Wednesday, Aug. 22]
  • Philadelphia, Wachovia Center [Monday, Aug. 27]

No New York or Los Angeles visit is currently scheduled, and as the paper notes, having more than half of the auditions in the South “may bolster Idol’s typically strong Southern flavor.” Last season had the show’s first non-Southern winner ever. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe tells the paper, “We do like to see America,” and that small cities “produce some wonderful stuff.”

USA TODAY reports that while there are “no big changes are planned,” “[p]roducers want to find a way to make sure more good singers make it through the initial auditions and the Hollywood round and into the final 24,” and Lythgoe admits that “Too many slipped through the net.”

The paper also reveals the specific numbers about how many people the judges actually hear: The “producers will narrow each city’s field to 300 to 400 of the best and worst singers. Lythgoe and co-executive producer Ken Warwick will then cull to about 120 per city to sing to judges Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.”

Calling all ‘American Idol’ wannabes [USA TODAY]

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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.