When does ‘American Idol’ 2020 start? We’re just weeks away from Season 18 with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie [WATCH]

American Idol” fans, don’t forget to set your DVRs for Sunday, February 16, 2020 as that’s the start date for your favorite reality TV singing competition. Season 18 marks the third year in a row Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will serve as judges, and the 18th Ryan Seacrest returns as host. Who will ultimately join the “American Idol” winners list that includes recent names like Maddie Poppe and Laine Hardy? We’ll all find out later this spring on ABC.

Season 18’s auditions were held in front of the judges last fall in five major cities: Savannah, GA, Milwaukee, WI, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR. The infamous Hollywood Week, which will dramatically cut the number of contestants that received golden tickets, was filmed in December at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

“‘American Idol’ has delivered superstars because we find raw talent,” Luke states in ABC’s latest promo video (watch above). Of note, Luke earns eternal bragging rights for being the first person to declare Laine would be a future winner … even one year before it actually happened.

Lionel notes that since there are only “three votes” on the judging panel, sometimes “sparks fly” when they disagree with each other. We then see a clip of Katy running down a hallway, screaming bloody murder. “That woman is possessed!” jokes Lionel.

SEE ‘American Idol’ Winners List (Seasons 1 – 17)

“It’s not just about what you sound like,” Katy proclaims. “It’s about your story.” You know what that means, “Idol” fans? Get your tissues ready because Season 18 is sure to be filled with countless sob stories to get the tears flowing.

One of fans’ biggest complaints last year about the long-running reality TV show was that the judges were too kind to the contestants, particularly in the live rounds. “We’re trying to be a little more frank, a little more real,” Luke now confirms about his third season strategy.

The new “American Idol” tagline — “There are singers, and then there are idols” — is a testament to the incredible run it’s had over the past two decades, first on Fox and now on ABC. One former “Idol” contestant went on to win an Oscar, Jennifer Hudson. Several have won Grammys, including former winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Fantasia. Many found success in film, television, theater and on the Billboard charts. And who could forget Chris Daughtry, who recently came in second place on “The Masked Singer” as the Rottweiler?

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