'American Idol' to Cut Top 24, Add Music Video Round Next Season

"American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told TVGuide.com that there are more changes coming to Fox's singing competition.

This season, the finalists will participate in a number of new challenges, including making a music video, promoting themselves as singers and creating an awards show-caliber performance that includes a band and dancers.

In addition, the producers have eliminated the round that cuts the contestants from 24 semi-finalists to 12 finalists. Instead, the show will just go straight to a top 12, but it's unclear whether that group of singers will be chosen by the judges or viewers.

"I didn't think [the top 24] were very good; I was bored with them by the time they got there," Lythgoe told TVGuide.com.

The changes follow the news that theme weeks will now focus on decades rather than a specific artist.

Also as previously announced, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have joined the judges' panel following the departures of Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi. Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine also has come aboard as a mentor.

Producers also lowered the age requirements to try out for the show, with 15-year-olds now allowed to audition.

"Idol" returns Jan. 12.