Do you have what it takes to be the next Lee DeWyze or Kris Allen? "American Idol" has formally announced the audition cities for the show's 10th installment, premiering on FOX next January.

Auditions for the next "American Idol" season will begin on Saturday, July 17 in Nashville and will hit Milwaukee, New Orleans, East Rutherford, NJ and Austin before concluding in San Francisco on Thursday, Aug. 18.

These hopefuls will be among the first to face an "American Idol" judging panel devoid of Simon Cowell. Since the "American Idol" production team has yet to announce any sort of timetable for revealing Cowell's replacement, it's unclear if we should now be expecting that news in the next three weeks, or if auditions could go on with Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres and a team of guest judges.

In addition, "American Idol" has instituted what almost certainly should be called The Justin Bieber Rule, lowering the show's minimum age from 16 to 15, making the new eligibility limits between 15 and 28. 

Note that since Jordin Sparks, the "American Idol" winners -- David Cook, Allen and DeWyze -- haven't exactly been teens and with the occasional exception (David Archuleta, mostly), the low end of the "Idol" age limit hasn't been producing standouts for several years. But don't think the "Idol" producers weren't reading all of the stories last year about how Justin Bieber wanted to try out for "American Idol" when he reached 16, but discovered that YouTube was a faster road to signing with a record label.

"A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16," states Cecile Frot-Coutaz, executive producer of "American Idol." "Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool."

Complete "American Idol" audition information:

 

Cities                                     Dates                                     Venues          

Nashville, TN                          Saturday, July 17                    Bridgestone Arena

Milwaukee, WI                        Wednesday, July 21               Bradley Center

New Orleans, LA                     Monday, July 26                      TBA

East Rutherford, NJ                Tuesday, Aug. 3                      IZOD Center   

Austin, TX                             Wednesday, Aug. 11              Frank Erwin Center

San Francisco, CA                  Thursday, Aug. 19                   AT&T Park

 

 

What do you think of the Justin Bieber Rule? Will it help "Idol"?