Contestants will be allowed to play instruments during American Idol 7’s Hollywood round

The Hollywood round of American Idol 7‘s audition process begins this week, and for the first time in the show’s history, contestants will be allowed to play instruments when they sing.

“We knew Chris Daughtry, Carrie [Underwood] and Bo [Bice] could play the guitar but we really couldn’t show it. If [the contestants] can play an instrument this year we want to be able to see that, and we’ll introduce a couple of days of that during Hollywood week,” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told the New York Post.

That may or may not continue to the semi-final and final rounds of the competition in the spring. “We’ll make a decision when we see how many really talented people we have,” he said.

He also said that American Idol‘s tour, which didn’t do well this year, may be combined with the tour from his other series, So You Think You Can Dance. “I’d love to see the ‘Dance’ tour go out with the ‘Idol’ tour and put the singing and dancing together. They should never be separate. I’d like to see that happen,” Lythgoe said.

‘Idol’ Shake Up [New York Post]

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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.