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International ‘Idols’ to face off

“American Idol” Kelly Clarkson will get the chance to measure herself against her international counterparts.In “World Idol,” a two-part special airing the evenings of Christmas and New Year’s Day, Clarkson will compete in London with winners from 10 other countries, including Lebanon, South Africa and Poland.An international panel of judges, made up of one representative from each count
/ Source: The Associated Press

“American Idol” Kelly Clarkson will get the chance to measure herself against her international counterparts.

In “World Idol,” a two-part special airing the evenings of Christmas and New Year’s Day, Clarkson will compete in London with winners from 10 other countries, including Lebanon, South Africa and Poland.

An international panel of judges, made up of one representative from each country, will comment on the performances. Then viewers from around the world will have the chance to vote.

Details on the voting process will be released later, according to the Fox network, home of “American Idol.”

The competitors are all winners of the first season of the “Idol” series in their respective countries — making second-season U.S. winner Ruben Studdard ineligible, the network said Wednesday.

The program will air 8-10 p.m. EST on Dec. 25, and 9-10 p.m. EST on Jan. 1.

The “World Idol” participants, besides Clarkson, are Will Young, United Kingdom; Heinz Winckler, South Africa; Alicja Janosz, Poland; Jamai Loman, Netherlands; Alexander Klaws, Germany; Kurt Nilsen, Norway; Diana Karazon, Lebanon; Peter Evrard, Belgium, and Ryan Malcolm, Canada; and an Australian contestant who will be selected Nov. 19.

While “Idol” winners get record contracts in the national contests, a Fox spokeswoman said she was unaware of a prize for the international champion.

Shows patterned after the original series, Britain’s “Pop Idol,” now are seen in more than 20 countries.

“American Idol” proved a major ratings hit for Fox. The premiere date for the third season of the U.S. show has yet to be announced.