- The new judge, Kara DioGuardi, loves everybody -- but apparently not in a "your specialness is the light that comes through in your voice, and you are shining that light" kind of way like some other female judges we could mention.
- Speaking of the new judge, all the math whizzes have pointed out that with a foursome, there's potential for dead-heat ties. So how to resolve that? Apparently, in the case of ties, Simon gets the final call.
- The producers are tightening control on the music contestants sing: They'll now only be able to choose songs that have charted in the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 since 1958.
- Although producers have denied it in recent days, word is audition weeks will spend less time on the really bad singers, and more on genuine talent -- likely due to the sad story about a would-be contestant from season five (whose embarrassing audition was one of the most lingered-on trainwrecks the show's had) was found dead outside Paula Abdul's house in the fall.
- The show held auditions in Puerto Rico for the first time -- but exec producer Ken Warwick says the gambit to pump up the show's "Latin flavor" was a big disappointment on the talent front.
- Early ones to watch include Lil Rounds, the third singer in this preview for the premiere.
Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media