'American Idol': Early voting could happen online

new-american-idol-judges-randy-jackson-steven-tyler-jennifer-lopez.jpgAmong the many, many changes taking place on "American Idol" this season is one that will potentially affect viewers directly: There are reports that fans will be able to vote online in the early stages of the show.

FOX and the "Idol" producers haven't confirmed anything yet, but a source tells Vote for the Worst that viewers will be able to vote for 12 of top 15 contestants online at the end of the Hollywood round. Which would mean, apparently, that there's a top 15 instead of a top 12 as in past seasons; the judges and full-time mentor Jimmy Iovine would pick the last three.

According to the source, 40 to 50 contestants will be featured prominently in the Hollywood episodes, and viewers will make their choices from that pool of people -- so, sorry, other 200 people who got golden tickets.

"Idol" has never allowed online voting in the past -- it's previously been done only by phone and text message. And it's not a done deal yet; VFTW says the show could still decide to keep the status quo with the voting process.

One other possible clue to the online idea, though, comes from a Twitter page set up for the Season 10 contestants. As AI Now notes, the account's bio section says "Voting begins Thursday, February 24 at ATT.com/Idol." That URL brings up a "not found" error at the moment, but that could just mean that the site isn't ready to go yet.

We do know for sure that "American Idol" premieres Jan. 19 on FOX.
Photo/Video credit: FOX
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