When Does ‘American Idol’ Start & End in 2020?

American Idol 2020

ABC/Eliza Morse Music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, along with Emmy¨-winning producer and host Ryan Seacrest, and multimedia personality and in-house mentor Bobby Bones, were on hand when ABC's "American Idol" kicked off auditions for the upcoming season in search for the next singing sensation in Savannah, Georgia, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.

American Idol is back, with the 2020 season airing beginning on February 16, 2020. The season will likely conclude in late May, though no official finale date has been announced. Live episodes for the show will begin in April.

Though this season is officially season 18 of the show, it is being referred to as season 3 since this is the third season the show will air on ABC.

Read on for more Season 3 details.

American Idol Season 3 Judges and Host

(ABC/Gavin Bond) ABC’s “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and in-house mentor Bobby Bones.

The trio of judges for this season include Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. The three judges have been around since “Season 1,” which was Season 16 overall. Richie has been a long-time staple of the show, however, with his first appearance being as a guest judge in the second season of the show.

This season, in-house mentor Bobby Bones will also return. In an interview with WJCL, Bones talked about why he thinks American Idol works.

“The great thing about American Idol is we actually go out to cities and find the next superstar. A lot of the shows you have to go to Hollywood to actually audition. I think the great thing about us, we come out to places.”

American Idol Audition Cities & Airing Schedule

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The first few months of American Idol will include pre-taped episodes beginning with the audition episodes, which were filmed starting in September. The following episodes up until the top 10 have also been pre-filmed.

The cities that American Idol went to for the 2020 season were the following cities:

Mobile, AL
Tallahassee, FL
Macon, GA
Santa Barbara, CA
Baton Rouge, LA
Columbia, SC
Las Vegas, NV
Waco, TX
Knoxville, TN
Salt Lake City, UT
Raleigh, NC
Colorado Springs, CO
Washington D.C.
Wichita, KS
San Jose, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Springfield, IL
Spokane, WA
Detroit, MI
Nashville, TN
Chicago, IL

Three talented contestants from past seasons will also be welcomed back in this season. Layla Spring, who first auditioned in season 16, and Logan Johnson and Shawn Robinson, who both auditioned for season 17 will all get a shot to return to American Idol this season. Layla Spring made it through to Hollywood this year.

The first two episodes of Season 18 air on Feb 16 and Feb 23. On the Feb 16 episode, which airs starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the judges visit Savannah, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Sunriver. The episode synopsis promises never-before-seen twists and auditions from a subway performer from Harlem, a garbage collector with no experience and a hopeless romantic who “encounters her own fairy tale twist during her audition as she sings from the heart.”

Episode two will see the judges in the same cities and also showcase stories and voices from across the country who will vie for a spot at the competition in Hollywood. This episode will include performances from a performer who “unleashes her unique love for sardines with an original song” and firefighters in Sunriver who save the day and then sing with the judges.

Tune in to American Idol on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC to see all the good (and bad) auditions.

READ NEXT: ‘American Idol’ Judges 2020: Lionel, Katy & Luke Return for the New Season

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