In new photos released online, the judges, cast, and host Ryan Seacrest celebrated the 20th season of “American Idol,” though the show started airing on Fox and now airs on ABC.
The group shared a special cake-cutting ceremony on October 17, 2021, while filming auditions for the upcoming season.
Seacrest Shared Photos of The Judges
Ryan Seacrest shared more photos of the ceremony on Instagram, including one of the judges all posing around the cake.
“Celebrating 20 years of finding superstars across America,” he wrote. “Can’t wait to kick off our milestone season with you in early 2022 #TheNextIdol.”
Katy Perry shared photos from the celebration as well.
“Year 20 is underway and mama ain’t here to play,” she wrote.
Season 20 Features Multiple Changes
In June 2021, it was announced that one major change would be taking place for the upcoming season of “American Idol.” That change comes in the form of a new showrunner. Trish Kinane, who was the previous showrunner, had been the showrunner since before ABC took over the talent competition.
Megan Michaels Wolflick took over from Kinane. Michaels Wolflick has been a part of every season of the show since season two, when she started as an Associate Producer, according to Deadline.
As part of the changes required during the global pandemic, ABC’s “American Idol” set up a virtual “Idol Across America” tour that allowed anyone who wanted to audition to do so from anywhere around the country. Previously, the judges and producers would go around the entire country and make stops in major cities for auditions.
“Controversial as it may seem, I would never do the bus tour again,” Wolflick told Deadline. “It doesn’t matter if we’re out of Covid for 20 years. If you don’t live within five hours of one of those stops, you might not want to get in the car.”
She added, “[Now], we have people in the broom cupboard of their job singing on a five-minute break. I can see people’s house, I can talk to parents, I could never do that on the bus tour. I get so much more out of it, not to mention that I get a really interesting perspective on the youth of today and trends, what posters are on their walls.”
Wolflick also shared that the show would go through a refresh, which she compared to remodeling just one part of a house. When it comes to all the other competition shows popping up, Wolflick shared that they do make her want to change “American Idol,” but not in the way some might think.
“It almost makes me want to strip ‘Idol’ back even more, to its core,” she told the outlet. “We are a show that literally takes the guy with dirty boots and makes him a star, like ‘A Star Is Born.’ When Carrie Underwood walked in to St Louis in 2004, she was wearing her Lee Jeans and Old Navy top, that is the core of the show.”
She added, “That is what America identifies with and is what is tried and true about the format.”
“American Idol” returns for season 20 in the early months of 2022.