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'American Idol' first look: Season 9 ad campaign!

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What were you expecting, an image of Simon and Ellen duking it out in a ring? Or maybe a solo shot of Ellen busting a move? Silly you for buying into all the media hype surrounding the big judging panel makeover. American Idol is a singing competition, and judging by the “key art” for the show’s ninth season (debuting January 12), Fox hasn’t lost sight of that.

“The fact that Fox is going with a contestant-focused theme for the show’s season 9 campaign is good news for all us Idoloonies who know that at its heart, the show is about finding the next Kris-Adam-Allison, not a coherent pinch-hitter for Paula Abdul,” raves EW’s great American cheerio, Michael Slezak. “Oh, and those had better be models and not actual contestants they’re showing, or else we’re about to encounter early contestant pimping at new and unprecedented levels.”

Relax, MSlez. Sources confirm to me exclusively that they are, in fact, models. Those same sources also confirm that the other four posters from Idol‘s new campaign can be found below. Check ’em out and let the judging commence in the comments section!