AMERICAN Idol has returned this year with some changes for its 20th season.
The show is celebrating 20 years since it premiered in 2002 and host Ryan Seacrest has a few surprises in store for viewers.
Where can I watch American Idol?
American Idol season 20 premiered on February 27, 2022 at 8 p.m. ET and fans can catch the show every Sunday on ABC.
You can also stream American Idol on the ABC app or on Hulu.
Who are the American Idol judges?
The show got back several judges with one notable difference.
Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan will all return as American Idol judges this season, and executive producer and showrunner Megan Wolflick said they’re thrilled to welcome them back.
“The chemistry and passion that Katy, Luke, Lionel and Ryan bring is second to none. We couldn’t be more ecstatic that they are celebrating this legendary 20th anniversaryth season in search of the freshest new talent this nation has to offer.”
However, Bobby Bones, who was the fourth judge for the previous four seasons, was removed due to conflicting commitments.
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In a now-expired Instagram post, Bones said, “Some of you guys have noticed that I’m not in the idol promos this season. My contract (with) my new network doesn’t let me do another show at the moment. Love idol, by the way . Were great 4 years.”
Wolflick said they don’t have anyone else to take Bones’ place, but there are alternative ideas in the works to include former American Idol contestants and winners.
What changes are there this season?
Ryan Seacrest says he wants to bring back old faces from previous seasons to remind us of the show’s ups, downs and everything in between.
“As for the contestants, I want every one of them to come back, way back from where we started,” Seacrest told Parade.
“I remember a moment with Clay (Aiken) and Ruben (Stoddard), I want to see Carrie (Underwood) again, I love watching Jennifer Hudson in Challenge.”
The American Idol graduates will be brought back to assist the judges and mentor the singers throughout the season.
Wolflick said, “…This year we’ll be leaning on our amazing American Idol University alum to help our current idols along the way at various stages of the competition, so many of those familiar faces that America has come to love will be there seen throughout the season and we are very, very excited and our alum looks forward to giving back.
In addition to bringing back old faces, a new ticket will be given out to three lucky entrants who will be deemed above the other.
During the audition, these three contestants, one selected from Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles, will receive a platinum ticket allowing them to attend Hollywood Week to rest and watch the competition.
This gives them an advantage in choosing who to sing a duet with later in the season.
Katy Perry told Parade: “We identify the best talent in each venue and give them this ticket instead of our usual gold ticket, so they can go to Hollywood Week with this ticket.
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