American Idol Season 11 Promo: Will You Take the 'Journey' Again in January?

At first glance, it might look like Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson have been cast in an I’m Not There-style retelling of the Pied Piper story.

But nope, in much the same way your local Hallmark shop’s Christmas decorations seem to spring up earlier and earlier every year, so too is Fox trying to get visions of American Idol‘s 11th season dancing in your head well before Halloween.

Idol‘s new promo features Ryan, Randy, J.Lo, and Steven wandering  the city “streets” collecting aspiring singers to a tune that sounds like it might have been a rejected Season 5 victory anthem: “Together we can fly/ It’s to an endless sky/ Where anything is possible / We can, we can/ Take a chance, take a chance together/ We can, we can/ Always be better.” As the show’s judges and host arrive at a theater, the main message of the advertisement appears on the screen: “The incredible journey begins… January 22.” Let’s just hope the fact that J.Lo and Steven respectively encounter musical trios in the spot doesn’t mean Idol is taking a page from The X Factor and opening its doors to the ill-advised “groups” category. (Shudder.)

I can’t say this is the most effective spot I’ve ever seen for the show — why not stitch together the original auditions from Kelly, Carrie, ‘Tasia, Cookie, and other show success stories to remind audiences that there really is something at stake in the Idol process? — but I’ve marked my calendar nevertheless.

What about you? Will you take the “journey” with Idol come Jan. 22, 2012? Watch the preview below, then sound off in the comments! And for all my reality TV news and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!