‘American Idol’ Makes Huge Change Ahead of Season 20

American Idol

ABC The American Idol finale airs Sunday on ABC.

ABC’sAmerican Idol” is set to return for season 20 in early 2021, and the show has made a huge change ahead of that monumental season premiere.

Following the singing competition series’s season 19 finale, which pulled in around 6.5 million viewers, “American Idol” will be undergoing some changes behind the scenes, according to Deadline. The show will be under the care of a new showrunner.

A showrunner on reality TV, according to Reality Blurred, focuses on deciding which stories to bring to the forefront and deciding which contestants to focus on, so it’s definitely possible that this change will be apparent when the show comes back on air.

Executive Producer Megan Michaels Wolflick is Taking Over

According to Deadline, Trish Kinane is retiring from “American Idol,” and Megan Michaels Wolflick, who has been an executive producer on the series, will be taking over.

Kinane has been in the role of showrunner since before the show was canceled by Fox and picked up by ABC, meaning this will be the first season on ABC under the care of a different showrunner. Kinane, according to Deadline, has also been an executive producer for all 19 seasons of the show. She’s not completely leaving, however. She’ll be staying on as an executive producer and consultant through at least next season.

“I am happy to have been instrumental in the continued success of ‘America’s Got Talent’ and to have refreshed the ‘American Idol’ format, shepherding it through its last years on Fox to its new home,” Kinane told Deadline.

Wolfkick has been working on “American Idol” for 15 seasons.

‘American Idol’ Also Made Changes in Who Can Audition

In previous seasons of “American Idol,” any contestants who have previously been on the show and finished in the top 10 have not been able to return to try again.

In the upcoming season, that’s different.

“You are ineligible to participate in the Program if you competed in any previous season of ‘American Idol’ and placed first in the competition,” the new rules read.

That means that only winners are ineligible to return, as well as any former contestants who have record deals or are candidates for public office. It could be a controversial change, as fans were not happy with the season 19 “Comeback” twist where former contestants competed for a spot in the 2021 top 9. When runner-up Arthur Gunn won that comeback spot, some fans were even more upset.

Gunn ended up skipping out on his expected performance at the “American Idol” season 19 finale.

In an Instagram post following the Idol finale, Gunn thanked “American Idol” and explained he backed out for “moral” reasons.

“Well, let’s just say I missed my opportunity to sing with legendary @sherylcrow,” he started. “What happened is not much to discuss at this point. I would like to make it up and invite @sherylcrow to perform couple of songs on the July 30th at @thecotillion. It was last minute decision but I couldn’t help but say no cause of some personal morals and values due to unpleasant environmental experiences.”

He added, “It’s not necessary to state it, it is what it is, so I felt like I had to move on, it’s not the show @americanidol to blame, they were there long before nor anyone related to the show.”

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