How American Idol Will Still Air Live Episodes Despite Coronavirus Shutdown

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Just days after Katy Perry took to social media in a rabbit suit to tease American Idol's future, ABC has revealed the plans for how the singing competition will continue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Just as Perry teased, Idol will get creative from home with its Top 20 contestants performing the show remotely.

American Idol will be live yet again, but Season 18 will be a radical change from what audiences have seen in the past. Per Deadline, contestants will perform from remote locations in front of the three judges, who will each be broadcasting from their respective homes. The same will be true for Bobby Bones and Ryan Seacrest, though the explicit details of how this will work out will be revealed at a later date. American Idol's return to live shows is scheduled for Sunday, April 26.

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It's a bold move for American Idol, which will attempt to do something other television productions have struggled with on a relatively small scale. Contestants will be performing at different locations, internet quality could vary across the board, and with the show said to be live and featuring the individual feeds of over 20 people, there is definitely a high risk of technical difficulties.

Of course, these are all logistical issues the Idol team has likely discussed at length. American Idol announced its postponement nearly a month ago, and has been able to buy time airing out the rest of its pre-taped content and two recap episodes. One would think there are some fixes to these potential issues by now, and a way for this show to continue on in as fair a way as possible.

While ABC didn't lay out the explicit gameplan for what American Idol will look like upon its return, Katy Perry has seemingly confirmed where contestants will perform. In a tweet posted not long after the announcement, Perry shared:

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I'm not exactly surprised contestants will perform from their homes, though I had wondered if ABC would arrange to put certain contestants together at a certain location to reduce issues with quality. I'm curious to see if any contestants will benefit from performing without a crowd, or for having a slightly better internet connection than others. Obviously, no one knows how this is going to play out, so perhaps the best thing to do is wait and see and be grateful Season 18 is able to continue much sooner than some may have expected.

As mentioned, American Idol will resume Season 18 Sunday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more updates in regards to television, and for a look at what's happening in movies as well.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.