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'American Idols Live' gets a makeover

"American Idol" cast members perform at the Nassau

"American Idol" cast members perform at the Nassau Coliseum. (Aug. 23, 2011) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Given the shake-up that came with this season's "American Idol," it makes sense that the resulting tour would get a makeover as well.

This year's "American Idols Live" model, which stopped at Nassau Coliseum Tuesday night and returns again Wednesday night, has more in common with the "Glee" tour than with Idols shows past.

Gone is the strict reverse-order countdown and the emphasis on their rank. Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, for example, was the first up after intermission -- maybe to keep the show from ending with a giant country block from her and reigning Idol Scotty McCreery.

There's also a new emphasis on recent hits rather than well-worn standards. Naima Adedapo delivered a fiery version of Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor," while Thia Megia brought out the sweetness in Selena Gomez's current smash, "Who Says." James Durbin offered a wild version of Muse's "Uprising" and Stefano Langone showed off his radio-ready voice on Bruno Mars' "Grenade."

The tour is also careful about helping the Idols build some hits of their own. Pia Toscano rolled out a powerful version of her debut single "This Time" that the Long Island crowd loved. Alaina's charming "Like My Mother Does" was even more effective live.

Of course, this show still celebrates the winner and McCreery did not disappoint with his aw-shucks, old-school country delivery, especially during his impressive version of "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?"

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But this time out, it looks like "Idol" is more interested in spotlight-sharing than ever.

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