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American Idol is one of the many TV shows trying to navigate life in a world post-coronavirus pandemic. How is it handling auditions for its new season -- by not taking any chances with the safety and well-being of its potential contestants. Earlier this year, there were a lot of shutdowns, and American Idol decided to take the remote route.
In response to the coronavirus, American Idol decided to keep its live shows with a significant twist. Live episodes got filmed from the respective contestants’ homes. American Idol will be keeping that approach, as Variety is reporting that the show will be accepting virtual auditions for its upcoming season. This isn't the first time the show has used virtual auditions, as last season saw them also get implemented.
There is also some good news for those wary of American Idol and its genre peers’ remote process. Auditions for Season 19 (Season 4 on ABC) will be open to all 50 states with the addition of Washington, D.C., so expect to see talent from across the country. And there will be virtual contact between those auditioning and American Idol producers.
Zoom will be instrumental in hosting the search for the next American Idol winner. The platform has been a favorite with late-night television programs utilizing it to no end. Thanks to last season’s production changes, this news shouldn't lead to a major adjustment for longtime viewers.
American Idol’s fourth season on ABC is not slated to begin until spring 2021, which is still quite a ways off. So the news that things will not return to “normal” next year should signal to fans that we may still have a long road to go before TV productions can return to normal practices. Also, by the time the singing competition returns, TV shows will have been dealing with newly implemented safety protocols for a year.
Nevertheless, American Idol and other shows have managed to thrive during this period of transition. For instance, even scripted shows have been using latex mannequins to continue filming love scenes. Welcome to a new era! American Idol was evidently pleased with how those at-home episodes went, and CinemaBlend’s Mick Joest had some positive things to say about it.
Hopefully, things will be find both in front of and behind the camera for American Idol. There was growing concern for longtime host Ryan Seacrest by the end of last season. Fans were worried that Seacrest had suffered a stroke during last season’s remote finale. Seacrest subsequently opted not to get into why fans were concerned that he had, though ABC was also reportedly concerned for the American Idol anchor.
The end of Season 3 saw Just Sam became the reigning winner of American Idol, and ABC viewers will have to wait and see whose remote audition ultimately leads them to follow in Sam’s footsteps.
American Idol will return for its fourth season on ABC next spring. A release window that means Season 4 will arrive well after this fall’s premieres.