I get it - but my gut still tells me that there's a little dead-horse beating going on at American Idol.   Sounds to me like these possible changes will get them a little more interest/drama as a reality show - but a little farther off the path of actually finding talented singers.   If you end up bypassing the next Carrie Underwood because she's less dramatic behind the scenes, and get a stage full of Snookis - isn't that kinda missing the point?    Read on & post your thoughts...

These plans are still in development and could change, but as of now producers intend to have the Top 12 live together in a house in the Hollywood Hills. There, they will be allowed to chat with fans via Twitter. Singers had social media accounts for a period of time last season, then the accounts were abruptly consolidated into a single Idol feed midway through the run. Word is producers will further relax their Twitter rules for season ten.

The big question is whether Fox, which declined to comment for this story, is going to make the Idol house a visiible part of the show. Will the network air behind-the-scenes footage from the Top 12 hanging around and recording confessionals, like on other reality shows? The creative details on the Idol house are still being worked out, but the answer seems to be: It depends how compelling the footage is.

Producers may also give the Idol contestants a break from Hollywood scene with a road trip to Las Vegas. There they would do an integration with Cirque du Soleil's acclaimed Beatles-inspired Love show. Several major Vegas productions have been in contention for this epic primetime product placement, sources say, but Cirque's marquee show at The Mirage won out.