Because of COVID-19, production on Season 18 shut down, but “Idol” managed to complete the season by doing virtual at-home shows with the remaining seven contestants performing partially live. By the end, it was between Nepalese-American guitarist and singer Arthur Gunn and Just Sam, whose renditions of Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and Audra Day‘s “Rise Up” won the most votes and America’s heart.
“Idol” is already looking ahead to next season, kicking off with virtual auditions. Here is everything to know so far.
Just as the show found innovative ways to film each finalist in the safety of their own home during the pandemic, the first round of Season 19 auditions will rely on custom-built Zoom technology to host “Idol Across America,” the first-ever virtual live nationwide search for the next undiscovered singing sensation.
How do you sign up to try out?
Those who wish to audition for “Idol Across America” to have a chance to virtually try out in front of a producer should go to http://www.americanidol.com/auditions. That’s where all the details are found. Be aware you must be between the ages of 15 and 28 to qualify and can sign up for whatever date, regardless of your location.
How will the auditions work?
Starting on Aug. 10 and ending on Sept. 9, digitally remote auditions will take place across all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. “American Idol” is determined to search the country for fresh talent, allowing hopefuls to show off their vocal skills from anywhere in the country in their own homes. They can sign up for any audition date and get feedback in real-time from an”Idol” producer. No cattle calls needed.
Who will be back?
In August, it was confirmed that host Ryan Seacrest and judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will return. No word yet about mentor Bobby Bones. ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said in a statement, “‘American Idol” has always been able to bring people together, entertain a inspire — and I am so proud of how this show continued to deliver joy and laughter into people’s homes during a time when we needed it the most. There is no one who we feel more confident about about leading us into a new season of high notes than Luke, Katy, Lionel and the incomparable Ryan Seacrest.”
Where and when will the auditions take place?
Here are where and when the auditions will take place, which is subject to change:
Delaware, Florida and Ohio (Aug. 10)
Louisiana, Missouri and Wisconsin (Aug. 12)
Arizona, Oregon and Washington (Aug. 14)
Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Rhode Island (Aug. 16)
Open Call Auditions (Aug. 17)
Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas (Aug. 18)
Idaho, New Mexico and Utah (Aug. 20)
Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas (Aug. 22)
Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia (Aug. 24)
Open Call Auditions (Aug. 25)
Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma (Aug. 26)
Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota (Aug. 28)
Connecticut, New Jersey and New York (Aug. 30)
Colorado, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming (Sept. 1)
Maine, South Carolina and West Virginia (Sept. 3)
Alaska, California and Hawaii (Sept. 5)
Kentucky, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (Sept. 7)
Massachusetts, North Carolina and Vermont (Sept. 9)
When will it premiere?
Sometime in early 2021 if everything goes accordingly. ABC’s first two seasons of “Idol” premiered in March, while Season 18 bowed in February.