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Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 01/08/2013

‘American Idol’ showing early preview of first episode across the country, including Washington

“American Idol: The Season of Nicki Minaj” debuts on Wednesday, Jan. 16, but Fox has decided to let viewers see the first episode a week earlier — as long as they can get to a movie theater.

[UPDATE, Jan. 8: Just so you know before you drive to Alexandria — though Fox initially said the first episode will be screened, the network clarified today that it will show a 42-minute “select auditions” reel.)

New “Idol” judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj (Michael Becker - AP)

The network is offering screenings around the country of the show’s first episode of Season 12, which features new judges Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey, along with sole “Idol” survivor Randy Jackson.

Afterwards, the judges — and host Ryan Seacrest — will participate in a Q&A, giving us the delightful first chance to see how Minaj and Carey can handle being in the same room on live TV (essentially). Washington-area viewers will have a chance to see the debut, with a showing at a movie theater in Alexandria (AMC Hoffman Center 22). The screening starts at 7 p.m., and the Q&A is at 8:30.

More information, including where to RSVP to the event, can be found here.

By  |  11:34 AM ET, 01/08/2013

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