"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.