- The elimination process will now skip the voters straight to one sudden death Top 20 (instead of the three-week Top 24 of season 9), leaving voters with a final top 10, 12 or 15 group. Most likely a top 10 or 12.
- No more maintaining the same number of girls and boys until the voting starts. This is awesome. I hated watching a fantastic girl (or guy) go home just to keep the numbers balanced!
- Viewers will be able to vote online in addition to phoning or texting their votes
- Band leader Rickey Minor (now the band leader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) is being replaced by music director Ray Chew
- The set has gone through a total revamp to a more "arena" feel. The former band section up top is now audience seating
- Contestants will again live in the Idol mansion and have the opportunity to perform original songs
- Theme week will be entirely different. No longer will we need to watch an edgy hard rocker struggle through country week. Every song will be customized for each contestant
- Contestants will be mentored by Interscope/Geffen/A&M music exec Jimmy Iovine
- Songs will be released as the season progresses instead of waiting until season-end
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