“American Idol” returns on Sunday, February 16 for season 3 on ABC. This is the 18th season of the show overall. Ryan Seacrest, who also oversaw all 15 seasons of “American Idol” on Fox, is back as host. Also returning are the same trio of judges: country superstar Luke Bryan, pop princess Katy Perry and singer/songwriter Lionel Richie. Their search for the season 18 winner will run for a dozen or weeks this spring.
The trio travelled around the country last fall and held regional auditions in four cities — the nation’s capital, Savannah, GA; Milwaukee, WI; and Portland, OR — before returning to Los Angeles for one more round. In the end, they gave about six dozen hopefuls those coveted Golden Ticket.
The Hollywood Week shows were taped just before Christmas. Forty contestants made the cut and then took part in the Showcase Round, which was filmed once again at the Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii at the end of January. These hopefuls were winnowed down to just one score.
Those Top 20 then competed in both solo performances and celebrity duets. From these, we got the Top 14, who may be cut down to the Top 10 depending on format changes. It will be only those artists who get to compete on the live shows scheduled to start in mid April.