Can you believe it’s going to be the 9th season of American Idol ?! It’s amazing how this relatively simple idea (a singing talent show) has turned into a cultural phenomenon literally worldwide.

Come next Tuesday and Wednesday, January 12th and 13th, FOX will air the two-night season premiere at 8/7c.

Here is your first published picture of the judges (Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, Simon Cowell, and Ellen DeGeneres) and host Ryan Seacrest.

This first few episodes will feature auditions from Atlanta and Boston and for those, like me, who really want to see Ellen, we’ll have to wait until February for her to sit behind the table. Until she joins the crew there will be a few celebrity guest judges like Mary J. Blige, Kristin Chenoweth, Victoria Beckham, Neil Patrick Harris, Joe Jonas, and Katy Perry.

I’m thinking this is going to be a very fun season.