ABC’s reality singing competition American Idol will be back for season 4 on the network and season 19 overall in 2021, and fans of the show are starting to get excited about its return.
Last season, American Idol faced unprecedented difficulties when it came to bringing the show to air. Since the style of the show relies on live shows in order to get people voted off and later crown a winner, it was difficult for the show to figure out how to move forward, eventually moving to 100% remote performances from the homes of contestants.
It’s likely that the upcoming season of the show will be much closer to what viewers are used to seeing, only there will be extensive COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
Read on to learn more about what we know going into season 4 of ABC’s American Idol.
When Does ‘American Idol’ Premiere?
American Idol returns to ABC on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, 2021 with the first episode of auditions for the season. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday nights but will eventually move to a two-night-a-week format.
There will likely be at least a month of audition episodes followed by pre-recorded episodes in Hollywood Week and following that, getting down to the top 20 performers.
Once those top 20 performers are announced, American Idol will move on to live shows with live voting, allowing viewers to choose the ultimate winner.
Who is Returning to ‘American Idol’?
Judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry have all been a part of Idol since the reboot alongside longtime host Ryan Seacrest and in-house mentor Bobby Bones, and they will all be returning to the show once again for the 2021 season.
“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.
In August, when the show’s renewal was announced, Perry took to Instagram to share her excitement.
“She’s gonna be a workin’ Mama werkin’ it on @americanidol for season 4! Can #babycat get a high chair next to the desk?” the star and new mother posted.
Producers are excited to have the three judges back once again.
“Katy, Lionel and Luke are fun, astute and really know how to spot talent,” executive producer and showrunner Trish Kinane said in a press release. “Their chemistry is undeniable, and we are delighted that they, along with host Ryan Seacrest, are returning to find the next superstar and take American Idol to new heights next season.”
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.” Once contestants got through that process, they were given the chance to sing for the judges.
When it comes to who is shown as a contestant this season, that won’t be known until closer to the premiere date. It’s likely, however, that Kellyanne Conway’s daughter, Claudia Conway, will be shown, as she’s made it clear that she auditioned for the show this season.
American Idol premieres on Sunday, February 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC.