It’s almost time to find the next American Idol. In American Idol Season 21, the judges will travel to Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Nashville in search of the greatest voices to compete for a record deal and a cash prize. Hundreds of contestants will audition, but only one can come out on top. Here’s everything we know about the newest season of American Idol, including the premiere date, who’s involved, and what to expect.
Will ‘American Idol’ be back in 2023?
American Idol returns in 2023 for its 21st season. The auditions phase will premiere on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. ET. New episodes will then air weekly on Sundays.
As with previous seasons, the schedule will include auditions, Hollywood Week, Showcase Rounds, and the Top 24. Live shows will then begin, where fans pick their favorites to move forward each week.
Host Ryan Seacrest, who has been with American Idol since the beginning, teased that season 21 will be “really great” with a lot of truly dedicated contestants.
“We found some great contestants, a lot of country singers as one might expect,” he told People. “Every time we go out on the road we think, ‘OK, did we tap out on all the great talent?’ But what we’ve seen, honestly, is the contestants who are 7, 8, 9 years old, they practice like an athlete to audition when they can. They take it very seriously, whereas in the earlier years, they kind of just did it on a whim. These kids rehearse for it, and they treat it like an Olympic sport in a way.”
Who are the ‘American Idol’ Season 21 judges?
Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are all set to return as judges in season 21. The three stars have worked on American Idol since its revival with season 16 in 2018.
One ‘American Idol’ Season 21 contestant is confirmed for Hollywood
Last year, American Idol introduced platinum tickets in celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary. These tickets worked just like the classic golden tickets by sending a contestant to Hollywood. However, with a platinum ticket, a contestant can sit out of the first Hollywood Week round to size up the competition. Only three platinum tickets were handed out (one per audition location), so they went to only the most impressive singers.
It’s not clear yet if the judges will be handing out platinum tickets again in American Idol Season 21. However, America already had the chance to award someone with a platinum ticket in a new twist. During the 2022 American Music Awards, fans could vote for one out of three singers to receive America’s Platinum Ticket. That winner turned out to be Elijah McCormick of North Carolina.
“Thank you so much America for your platinum ticket!! I won’t let you guys down. Remember to tune in February 19th to see how I did Hollywood week,” McCormick wrote on Instagram. “Let’s GrOw!!”
How to watch ‘American Idol’ Season 21
Fans can watch new episodes of American Idol Season 21 live on Sundays (and eventually Mondays) on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, the episodes will be available to stream the next day on Hulu. A Hulu subscription is required to stream.
Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for more updates on American Idol Season 21.