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Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson
Kevork Djansezian  /  AP file
"American Idol" is judged by Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson, but there's no word yet on who will judge the show's new songwriting component.
By
msnbc.com
updated 8/7/2006 6:07:41 PM ET 2006-08-07T22:07:41

For five seasons, "American Idol" has been a contest in which singers — some good, some horrible — can strut their stuff in front of a massive national audience. Now, songwriters will have a chance to cash in on the "Idol" phenomenon.

The Los Angeles Times reported today in an interview with "Idol" creator Simon Fuller that the popular singing contest will add a songwriting component.

Viewers have griped that the original songs commissioned by the show for the two finalists to sing, have been lacking. "It's a thankless task," the Times quoted Fuller as saying.

The newspaper reported that the songwriting contest will be open to all, that the contest will run parallel with "Idol," and that the two finalists both will sing the chosen tune. Former "Idol" winners and finalists may perform some of the top songs on the show.

Fuller did not say who would judge the songwriting competition or give details on how songs can be submitted.

"American Idol" begins its sixth season in January 2007 on FOX. Auditions for the singing part of the contest begin Aug. 8 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

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