American Idol Update: Surprise on the Way!

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In case Katrina Darrell in a bikini and a contestant named Lil Rounds haven't been enough for you so far on season eight of American Idol, Fox reality chief Mike Darnell says a surprise is on the way.

"There's a big surprise coming when we get to the Top 12, but I can't reveal it right now," he told TV Week in an interview this weekend.  "It is something that will be talked about and is something I think that has some element of controversy surrounding it."

Darnell added that fans needn't be afraid, however. As Barack Obama has proven, change can be a good thing.

"It's not going to change what you think of American Idol and we don't want to do that. This show is, you know, a phenomenon. It's American, it's apple pie. We're not changing the core of the show."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.