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‘American Idol’ to Change Audition Process for Season 12

Mark Davis, Getty Images

Season 12 of ‘American Idol‘ will see some big changes, and we’re not just talking about the addition of super diva Mariah Carey to the judge’s panel. There will be three new ways for hopefuls to audition this season, which kicks off in early 2013.

The producers are likely altering the way contestants can audition for several reasons. It could be an effort to crack down on all the talentless hopefuls who try and get on TV for laughs. It’s also an effective way to canvas every corner of the country to try and unearth real talent, no matter how remote.

On July 23, initiatives such as ‘American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour,’ ‘Nominate an Idol’ and online auditions were introduced as three brand new ways for contestants to enter, per Ace Showbiz.

A total of 10 towns will be visited by the mobile audition bus next month: Idaho Falls, ID; Billings, MT; Casper, WY; Rock Rapids, IA; Iowa City, IA; Bowling Green, KY; Clarksdale, MS; Joplin, MO; Dodge City, KA; and Grand Junction, CO. The show appears to be visiting remote towns in hopes of scooping up the next big thing.

For those who may be too shy to audition, their friends and fam can nudge them via the ‘Nominate an Idol’ program. A video or URL of the nominee singing solo or a cappella can submitted via an online registry. If they are chosen, a film crew will surprise the prospective candidates on location. That sounds like fun! It’s also a way for ‘Idol’ watchers to nominate talent from their own backyard and have a hand in the process.

The online audition component, which opens on Aug. 1 and runs through Aug. 14, allows potential ‘Idols’ to submit video of themselves singing a song from an approved list. There is a one song, one video limit.

There are plenty of exciting changes afoot, especially having Mimi onboard. Do all these factors make you want to watch Season 12, PopCrushers?

Next: Vote for Your Favorite 'American Idol' Winner

Watch Phillip Phillips Win Season 11 of ‘American Idol’

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