American Idol Band Leader Rumor Plus Stage Redesign

Ray Chew American IdolLast season Rickey Minor quit American Idol for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show which left the upcoming 2011 season with an empty seat for its band leader. EW is reporting that Ray Chew, well-versed in the television music arena, will be taking over the role after a successful stint during the pre-Hollywood, Las Vegas competition rounds.

While a successful band leader blends transparently into the show, the musical support may end up being more out of sight then we’re used to having each season:

Whether audiences will get to see much of Chew and the Idol band this season, however, remains very much an open question. Idol exec producer Ken Warwick tells EW exclusively that a revamped set this season could relocate the Idol band off camera. “At the moment, the [upper] tier that was where the band was is now going to be audience,” says Warwick. “The plan is that the band will come out when required. There’s going to be a whole new kind of arena feel to the whole proceeding.”

The band will have to end up being somewhere, but just where that is hasn’t yet been revealed. Although I understand the desire to put the American Idol hopefuls front and center, it seems odd to effectively remove the band from the set and the experience. I’m interested to see how this all works out. So very many changes coming our way for this new season which starts in just two weeks!




  1. Hiding the band is a bad idea, new singers like this feel most comfortable with the band near and visible. They have earned the right to be seen by the audience, time to change the decision.

  2. I truly feel that not seeing the band would be a disgrace. It's all about music, the performers would have the support of the band…it's their back-up. Bands and performers for all of my 81 years of life, perform together and to be seen together…

  3. @Rose, and Phyllis, Happy New Year to both of you. I was glad to read that your holiday was wonderful!

    @Rose, congratulations to you! I read that this is grandchild #4, what a blessing! Maybe this year there will be more good news for you, regarding the voting system. I agree that the method of voting that's being used, is lousy and I never did like it, or thought it was fair!

    @Phyllis, hang in there, I believe you will have your grandchild soon!

  4. Whats up with all these changes?????? I'm starting to get leery about all of this…..tooooo many changes.

    Before we know it, we will be the judges of this new season and what we (the Public) think about all these changes. Hopefully this will include the voting system…..

  5. I agree, Phyllis…the biggest change they need to make (and have not, to my knowledge) is the voting system. I will still tune in. 🙂

    Happy New Year.

  6. Happy New Year Rose……I know I will still watch Idol no matter what but here's hoping that somebody might read this blog and get the message about the voting system…..YOU THINK!!!!!!

  7. Me too Phyllis…I believe that enough of us

    (General Public) have voiced our opinion…just hope it has been falling on "open" ears. I am a die hard AI fan, so yes, I still will be tuning in. Had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with new grand-daughter # 4…She is soooo precious 🙂

    Hope you are well.

    U 2 Angela and Sherry…I am sure you will be tuning in as well. 🙂

  8. @Rose…..Congratulations on Grand daughter #4. I'm still waiting for # 1…LOL….They tell me they are trying…….I'm sure one day soon….

    Glad to hear your Holidays were festival. Mine were too, got to see my 3 boys…..New Years was great we had friends from NY here so we had a blast….

    Looking forward to the new season too!!!!!! Be in touch….

    Hope all my AI friends had a wonderful New Year too.

  9. I went from no grandchildren in almost 5 years to having 4. Two by my oldest daughter, 1 by my youngest daughter and very recently one by my stepdaughter. Phyllis…it will happen 🙂
    They are truly a joy.
    @ Angela…thank you. Now, hopefully a new voting system will be in place and it will all be good.

  10. I'm pretty sure they did not have a live band to begin with, so I don't see how not seeing one will hurt..

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