Normally, on American Idol, the Top 20 contestants battle it out for the chance to win with live performances. Prior to the live shows, the series films episodes months in advance, during the audition, Hollywood, and Showcase Rounds. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Season 18 of the show will reportedly continue in a very different format.
Many other series' have postponed production or canceled the remainder of their seasons entirely. American Idol was one of the last shows to reveal how it would handle the duration of the season.
While Fremantle, the media company behind the successful competition show, had previously stated that they were monitoring the situation, a decision about the show's future has allegedly been made.
Will American Idol be canceled for the rest of 2020? Keep reading!
Is 'American Idol' still on the air amid coronavirus concerns?
The eighteenth season of American Idol debuted in February of 2020 with pre-recorded episodes, including the auditions, which were filmed in the summer and early fall of 2019. The Hollywood week and the subsequent Showcase rounds all were taped before the start of 2020, meaning that much of the cuts had already taken place before the pandemic began.
The pre-recorded episodes of American Idol will come to an end on March 30, meaning that the series' creators didn't have much time to figure out how to maneuver the show without live episodes. Because California is under a stay-at-home order, it was essentially impossible for the show to film live episodes in front of a judges panel or any sort of audience.
According to a report from TMZ, the live episodes of the show will not be filmed in front of an audience, or even in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. A source from production revealed to the outlet that an email was sent around confirming this news.
"As we continue to monitor advice from federal and local agencies, it seems unlikely we are going to be able to make it back into the studio for this season of American Idol," the correspondence allegedly read.
Is 'American Idol' canceled for 2020?
While shows like Grey's Anatomy have decided to conclude their seasons early, American Idol isn't canceled, apparently. The format will just be unconventional.
The rumor is that the season will continue to air, and that the judges will give their critiques from home. Viewers will still be able to vote for who stays in the competition, and performances will also likely be filmed from the contestants' respective homes.
Because these contestants likely do not have equipment for recording or performing at home, it's unclear how the show will handle these performances.
According to the email obtained by TMZ, the crew will not be paid due to this change.
It is also unconfirmed at this time when these "live" episodes will air, or how the exact filming process of it will work.
American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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