ABC’s American Idol announced that season 19 will include the biggest twist in the show’s long history. This season, some of the contestants from a previous season will return, and some fans are not excited about the news.
The twist was designed to allow some of the season 18 top 20 contestants, who never got the chance to perform live in-studio due to the coronavirus pandemic, get a chance to really show off and win the competition this time around.
Voting on the “comeback” contestants begins on Monday, April 19, and it will be run the same way that the live voting takes place; however, according to Billboard, the voting will be open for a whole week rather than for just one night.
The comeback contestants will be revealed on Sunday, May 2, and compete alongside the top 9 of the current contestants on American Idol.
The twist was officially announced during the first live show of the season by host Ryan Seacrest.
Some Fans Believe the Twist is ‘Unfair’
I am not a fan of the bringing someone back from last season twist, I just don’t see the point. Why take away someone’s spot from this season & then last season’s contestants just skip the whole contest this year… makes no sense #AmericanIdol
— cαrα♡ (@Trip2marz) April 13, 2021
After Seacrest announced the second chance twist, fans of the show took to Twitter to express their frustration with the idea.
“I am not a fan of the bringing someone back from last season twist, I just don’t see the point. Why take away someone’s spot from this season & then last season’s contestants just skip the whole contest this year… makes no sense,” one user wrote.
Another agreed, writing, “So this #AmericanIdol twist might actually be worse than #Survivor’s [Edge of Extinction] twist and that is bad!!! Why would you give someone from last season a second chance? Talking to you @katyperry.”
“This is such a bad twist why do a battle back during the top 10?” one person tweeted.
One person had a somewhat conspiracy theory about why the show is bringing people back.
“I really do wonder if #AmericanIdol is trying to atone/exorcise all the ‘Just Sam is the worst winner ever/wrong winner’ flack they got last season with this Season 18 competitor comeback twist that’s coming,” they wrote.
While a lot of fans were upset about the announcement, a few took to Twitter to say that they were excited or at least understand why the twist will be taking place.
“I’ve never been fond of this second chance twist but hearing that only one person from last year is being voted in makes me feel a little more at ease about it,” one person tweeted.
The Twist Aims to Give Season 18 Contestants the ‘American Idol’ Experience
According to executive producer and showrunner Trish Kahane’s interview with Billboard, the executives wanted to give the former contestants a new chance.
“We pivoted pretty quickly to remote production last year because we had to,” Kahane told Billboard. “When it became apparent that things were going to be a bit better this year and that we were going to be able to return to the Television City studio with the big lights, we thought about last year’s contestants.”
She added, “They did so well with the remote production, with their moms and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights, but they never had the proper Idol experience. Some people really come alive on that big stage. We thought they deserved to have that experience.”
There are ten contestants returning to compete once again.
American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on ABC.