A Swede will get more people to watch "American Idol." At least that's what the production company that hired Per Blankens in the summer hopes for. Their decision came after two of the program's executive producers were suddenly “voted out” by the company.
“I look forward to beginning to work as the selection for next season will take place in just a few weeks,” said Blankens to Variety.com in June. Blankens, who moved to Los Angeles with his wife and two children in early summer, has produced the Swedish version of the show (“Idol”) for five seasons, and now he’s been appointed executive producer of the “American Idol.” “He’s extremely passionate about ‘Idol,’ and I expect great things to come out of his ideas and visions to make our ‘Idol’ into something creative and full of life,” said executive producer Trish Kinane to Variety.com.
Apart from working with Swedish “Idol” from 2007 to 2011, Blankens has also worked with the cooking show “Sveriges mästerkock”(Sweden's Master Chef) and “Biggest loser.”
Long time executive producers Nigel Lythgove and Ken Warwick were fired a few days prior to the announcement about Blankens, just weeks prior to the beginning selections for the upcoming 13th season of the show. The news that he’s now at the helm of “American Idol” did not come as a surprise for Blankens. It was reported already in the spring that he was set to work for Fremantle, but there was great secrecy surrounding his future job at the time.

Online auditions are on right now, Swedish American artists should apply at www.americanidol.com (Useful tip: It is generally expected that the program will be more open to rock, even hard rock, under Blankens' reign. In other words, leave the key fiddle home unless your repertoire includes Iron Maiden, Metallica and their likes...)