American Idol is almost through with the audition episodes for Season 3 on ABC, which is the 18th overall season for the show. The season started on February 16, 2020 and should wrap up sometime in May.
The first five episodes of the season have been devoted to auditions. The last of these will air on March 15, 2020. Afterward, the show will go to a two-episode a week format for the rest of the season.
Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan returned for the season alongside host Ryan Seacrest and in-house contestant mentor Bobby Bones. The show began two weeks earlier than the previous season did, and there are fewer episodes.
Live voting will begin at the earliest stage of the competition in American Idol history.
‘American Idol’ Schedule Leading Up to Live Shows
After the last audition episode, the show will move to a two-day a week format, airing on both Sundays and Mondays on ABC from 8 p.m. ET/PT to 10 p.m. ET/PT. That way, the show will be able to wrap up sometime in May before more The Bachelor takes up air time on the network.
According to Idol Chatter, the spoiler site for American Idol, the first Monday episode will air on Monday, March 16. That will be the first episode of Hollywood week, and it will feature the Genre Challenge for the contestants.
On Sunday, March 22, the second episode of Hollywood Week will air. That week will feature Duets.
The Showcase/Green Mile round, which will include the top 40 contestants will air on Monday, March 23. Then, the top 20 will be announced. After the top 20 perform, live voting and live episodes will begin.
Semi-Finals Begin at the End of March & the Finale is In April
The Semi-Finals of Idol, which include the top 20 contestants, begin on Sunday, March 29. They will continue for three additional episodes, meaning they’ll wrap up on Monday, April 6.
The Finals, which will include the top 10 performances and results and air live coast-coast will begin to air on Sunday, April 12. The Top 8 will perform Sunday, April 19, The top 6 on Sunday, April 26, the Top 5 on Sunday, May 3. Top 4 Performances and results will air on Sunday, May 10. Finally, the finale for the season will air on Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m.
Here’s the episode-by-episode breakdown for the entire season:
Sunday, February 16 – Auditions 1
Sunday, February 23 – Auditions 2
Sunday, March 1 – Auditions 3
Sunday, March 8 – Auditions 4
Sunday, March 15 – Auditions 5
Monday, March 6 – Hollywood Week, Genre Challenge
Sunday, March 22 – Hollywood Week DUETS
Monday, March 23 – Showcase Round/Green Mile (Top 40), Part 2
Sunday, March 29 – Semi-Finals
Monday, March 30 – Semi-Finals
Sunday, April 5 – Semi-Finals
Monday, April 6 – Semi-Finals
Sunday, April 12 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 10 Performances & Results
Sunday, April 19 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 8 Performances & Results
Sunday, April 26 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 6 Performances & Results
Sunday, May 3 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 5 Performances & Results
Sunday, May 10 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 4 Performances & Results
Sunday, May 17 – Finals Live Coast to Coast – Top 3 Performances & Results
The schedule is subject to change, as ABC might have other things airing during American Idol’s Season 18 run.