American Idol auditions will launch in July and this year hopeful contestants as young as 15 will be able to try out for a spot on the show. While Idol will have to deal with more of those scary stage moms, maybe Fox thinks it can find the next Justin Bieber for the new season. Or maybe they just want to make fun of more whiny teenagers during audition week.

AMERICAN IDOL 9 winner Lee DeWyze (FOX)

AMERICAN IDOL 9 winner Lee DeWyze (FOX)

“A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16,” Cecile Frot-Coutaz, executive producer of American Idol said in a press statement. “Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool.”

American Idol auditions this year will kick of in Nashville on July 17. Check out the full schedule below. Idol hopefuls will also have the option of posting videos on MySpace if they can’t make it to one of the audition cities.

July 17: Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
July 21: Milwaukee, WI – Bradley Center
July 26: New Orleans, LA – TBA
August 3: East Rutherford, NJ – IZOD Center
August 11: Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
August 19: San Francisco, CA – AT&T Park

Meanwhile, until the new season of American Idol starts, fans can still check out their favorites from last season on the American Idol Live Tour.

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