‘American Idol’ Showrunner Talks Show Changes, Milestone Season 20

American Idol Cast

ABC Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest

The next season of ABC’sAmerican Idol” debuts in early 2022, and, because the season marks the 20th that the show has been on the air, there are plans for some special celebrations.

“American Idol” originally aired on Fox, but the show was canceled and then later revived by ABC, which brought on judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. The only constant across every season of the competition series has been host Ryan Seacrest.

In June 2021, it was announced that one major change would be taking place for the upcoming season of “American Idol.” That change comes in the form of a new showrunner. Trish Kinane, who was the previous showrunner, had been the showrunner since before ABC took over the talent competition.

Megan Michaels Wolflick took over from Kinane. Michaels Wolflick has been a part of every season of the show since season two, when she started as an AP, according to Deadline.

Michaels Wolflick Would ‘Never’ Do Away With Virtual Auditions

As part of the changes required during the global pandemic, ABC’s “American Idol” set up a virtual “Idol Across America” tour that allowed anyone who wanted to audition to do so from anywhere around the country. Previously, the judges and producers would go around the entire country and make stops in major cities for auditions.

“Controversial as it may seem, I would never do the bus tour again,” Wolflick told Deadline. “It doesn’t matter if we’re out of Covid for 20 years. If you don’t live within five hours of one of those stops, you might not want to get in the car.”

She added, “[Now], we have people in the broom cupboard of their job singing on a five-minute break. I can see people’s house, I can talk to parents, I could never do that on the bus tour. I get so much more out of it, not to mention that I get a really interesting perspective on the youth of today and trends, what posters are on their walls.”

Wolflick also shared that the show would go through a refresh, which she compared to remodeling just one part of a house. When it comes to all the other competition shows popping up, Wolflick shared that they do make her want to change “American Idol,” but not in the way some might think.

“It almost makes me want to strip ‘Idol’ back even more, to its core,” she told the outlet. “We are a show that literally takes the guy with dirty boots and makes him a star, like ‘A Star Is Born.’ When Carrie Underwood walked in to St Louis in 2004, she was wearing her Lee Jeans and Old Navy top, that is the core of the show.”

She added, “That is what America identifies with and is what is tried and true about the format.”

Auditions Have Begun Filming for Season 20

Auditions have begun filming in front of the judges for the upcoming season 20 of “American Idol.”

The show announced the start of filming on the official Instagram page.

“We’re back at it filming in Austin, TX for season 20… whose voice will be a cut above the rest?!” the caption reads alongside a post of the judges and Seacrest holding an “American Idol” banner in front of celebratory balloons.

“American Idol” will return to air in early 2022.

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