‘American Idol’ Reboot Could Face Competition From Fox—Without That ‘Lousy’ Auditions Stage

American Idol is known for its weeks-long audition stage, and viewers of the long-running Fox talent competition either loved it or hated it as the show kicked off each season. But on the heels of ABC’s plans to revive the canceled Fox hit, the show’s original network is moving forward with plans to launch a rival singing competition. Fox is reportedly in the development stages of a new show based on the Israeli singing format The Final Four, according to Deadline.

Unlike American Idol, which kicks off with several weeks of audition episodes shot on location in cities across the U.S., the Israeli singing franchise skips the so-called “lousy auditions” stage of Idol and move straight to the four finalists in the opening episode. Ahead of the premiere, the show’s three judges decide who will be the Final Four, and then new competitors are introduced each week as they try to take a spot from one of the finalists.

While American Idol’s original tagline was “The Search for a Superstar,” The Final Four makes its intention clear with this line: “We start with the best and only get better.” Deadline adds that The Final Four may undergo a name change so not to confuse fans of NCAA “Final Four.”

American Idol’s audition episodes famously featured a mix of truly worthy singers and others who never had a shot at getting a golden ticket to Hollywood. Many music fans were annoyed by the off-key crooners, wondering how some of the worst wannabes ever earned a chance to sing in front of a lineup of judges that included Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Harry Connick Jr., and Jennifer Lopez, while others thrived on poking fun at the awful auditions.

Earlier this year, Fox lost out to ABC in talks to revive American Idol. Idol was canceled by the Fox just last year after airing for 15 seasons on the network. But if The Final Four becomes a done deal, Fox’s next foray into the world of singing competitions will stray far away from the Idol format. On the flip side, it seems like NBC has been trying to make its singing competition, The Voice, more like American Idol. The Voice has already nabbed two of Idol’s most successful alums, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson, to work as coaches next season.

Producers for the revived American Idol have already announced that auditions for the show will kick off on August 17. The rebooted crew will travel to Miami, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, and more in an attempt to find the next American Idol.

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