Season 4 of ABC’s reboot of American Idol premieres on Valentine’s Day, and the show will look much different than it did at the end of the previous season. Long-time host Ryan Seacrest spoke out about what people can expect in the upcoming season.
Seacrest talked to ABC News Radio about the differences in the show due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This season we created bubbles, different places in California – We did all the auditions there,” Seacrest said. “The contestants, they auditioned online, then the best of the best came out to California and they had to quarantine and be tested, as we all did, before each of these shoots.”
Seacrest Explained How ‘American Idol’ Filmed During COVID-19
Seacrest opened up about what filming was like during the season so far.
“We were in a safe environment,” he said. “We shot Hollywood Week from the Dolby Theater, as we have done in years past. So the scale of the show looks like American Idol should look and has looked over the years. And then our plan in the spring is to be back in the studio.”
He added, “I don’t know if we have an audience or not, but we should be back on the big stage with teh judges, myself and the contestants, so that’s exciting.”
‘American Idol’ Offered a First Look at the Season
In a recent promotional video for the season, Luke Bryan is seen getting emotional after watching an audition.
“It’s so exciting to be back doing the show at its normal scale,” host Ryan Seacrest says at the beginning of the promo.
Idol judge Lionel Richie adds, “These kids bring to us so much hope.” Then, Bryan is given his time in the spotlight, adding, “Nothing is more exciting than just a raw talent.”
The promotion shows a woman singing a high note before showing both Katy Perry and Luke Bryan looking emotional. Bryan comments that no one has ever made him cry just from singing a song prior to that moment. The promo shows that the judges believe that each of the singers coming to the show brings hope to people who might need it.
“Sometimes all people need is that one person that tells them they can, and then, Boom,” Katy Perry says in the promotion.
All three former judges of the show will return for the 2021 season, meaning that Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie will once again take their seats at the judging table, even if it means sitting six feet apart and taking safety precautions.
“There is no one who we feel more confident about leading us into a new season of high notes than Luke, Katy, [and] Lionel,” Karey Burke, ABC Entertainment president said in a press release.
Last season, the show saw many nights in the number one spot where it comes to ratings. For the new season, some of the search for the next American Idol took place during a virtual audition process called “Idol Across America.”
American Idol premieres on Sunday, February 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.