Elton John will perform on the January 1 results episode of the World Idol show in which winners of 11 international Idol series--including Kelly Clarkson and openly gay British Pop Idol winner Will Young--will vie for global supremacy. The competition will air Christmas Day and New Year's Day around the world. Fox, home to American Idol, will air the specials in the United States. "I am sure he is an idol and inspiration to many of those contestants participating in the show," executive producer Richard Holloway said. "His appearance underlines the magnitude of World Idol and will be a major highlight to what promises to be an unmissable final show."
John is gearing up for a busy 2004, with a string of 18 concerts (his first of 75 over three years) at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, kicking off February 13. In June he'll launch a European tour that will culminate in four concerts backed by his touring band, the 108-piece Royal Academy of Music Orchestra, and a 50-member choir conducted by James Newton Howard. The special shows are set for June 28-29 in Birmingham, England, and July 1 and July 3 at London's Wembley Arena.
In other Idol news, the third season premiere of American Idol has been moved up a day to January 19. Three audition shows will be shown over consecutive nights January 19-21. After that the show will return to its regular time slots: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.