'American Idol' Finale to Be Held in New York?
UPDATED: A source says Madison Square Garden could host the season-13 closer, but Fox denies that a move to the Big Apple is in the works.
For the first time in the Fox show's history, the American Idol finale could take place in New York City.
The network has yet to confirm the rumor, which began circulating on Idol blogs on Thursday afternoon, but a source tells The Hollywood Reporter that the season-13 grand finale will be held at Madison Square Garden, which recently underwent a major renovation. Although another Idol source contends that is not the case and "not true."
Idol, which kicks off its new season on Jan. 15 with a new panel of judges -- Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. -- usually holds its final bow in Los Angeles. Since season seven, when David Cook took the crown, the show has been beamed live from the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. Before that, the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood (now called the Dolby) was home to the show's last battle.
It's unclear as of yet whether the show is betting big on finale-night acts (last year's bill included Jessie J, Aretha Franklin, Psy, Jennifer Hudson and Lopez with Pitbull) or confident that its new group of finalists will draw increased interest -- enough to fill an 18,000-capacity arena.
The season-13 finale is scheduled to air on May 20 and 21.
Other acts booked at MSG in the coming months include Paul Simon and Sting, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban and Billy Joel, who performs at the venue every month through September.
Update: A Fox spokesperson has officially denied that the show finale will take place in New York.