‘American Idol’ 2021 Schedule: When Does the Show Air?

American Idol Schedule

ABC/Eric McCandless

Season 4 of ABC’s American Idol premiered on February 14, 2021. The show features judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and longtime host Ryan Seacrest. Throughout the auditions airing, the show airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday nights on ABC. Later in the season, the show will move to two-night-a-week schedules.

There will be six total episodes of auditions with the final episode of auditions for the season airing on March 14, 2021.

Here’s what the schedule looks like for auditions:

  • March 7, 2021, 8 p.m. ET/PT
  • March 14, 2021 8 p.m. ET/PT

Following auditions, the show will move on to showing the contestants during the grueling Hollywood Week.


More ‘American Idol’ Shows Are Scheduled Than Last Season

This season, there are more episodes scheduled than there have been previously, according to spoilers site MJs Big Blog and Futon Critic. It’s likely that the extra episodes are results shows, which will allow contestants to have separate performance and result shows once again.

Here’s what the schedule for the rest of the season looks like, according to the two sites:

  • Sunday, March 21: Hollywood Week Part One
  • Monday, March 22: Hollywood Week Part Two
  • Sunday, March 28
  • Monday March 29
  • Sunday, April 4
  • Monday, April 5
  • Sunday, April 11
  • Monday, April 12
  • Sunday, April 18
  • Monday, April 19
  • Monday, April 26
  • Sunday, May 2
  • Monday, May 3
  • Sunday, May 9
  • Monday, May 10
  • Sunday, May 16
  • Monday, May 17
  • Sunday, May 23

The ‘American Idol’ Finale is Scheduled for Sunday, May 23

At the time of writing, the season finale of American Idol is scheduled for Sunday, May 23, though it’s possible that will change at some point.

One thing that likely won’t change is the precautions the show is taking for COVID-19 safety reasons.

Luke Bryan recently opened up to People about the hardest part of filming the show this time around.

“The interesting thing is just trying to navigate all of the new rules of COVID-19,” Bryan said. “One tricky thing is a lot of times during the audition process, contestants will get very, very emotional and it will be an emotional situation for them.”

He added, “The fact that me and Lionel and Katy can’t walk out there and do the human element – hug and show support and love, is very, very tough.”

Bryan said that he feels it’s very important to be able to support contestants when they get emotional during the audition process.

“I think that’s one thing you’ll see as a viewer of me and Lionel and Katie,” he shared. “When someone is hurting and they’re motional, you want to console them and hug them and love on them to help them through. The fact that sometimes we can’t go put our arms around them is pretty heartbreaking.”

The show itself hasn’t changed, however, Bryan stressed. American Idol is still about finding the best singer in the country.

“At the core of it, it’s all about those wonderful singers and talented singers walking in the door and really blowing our minds as judges,” he told the outlet. “I think through all of the COVID restrictions and rules, we’ve been able to really, really put an amazing show together, and very excited to see some of the talent that we’ve been able to find.”

Tune in to American Idol to see which contestants ultimately move on throughout the season.

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