American Idol has officially announced plans for its upcoming live shows, revealing that it will continue remotely due to the current situation. The competition's live shows will begin on April 26 and The Hollywood Reporter shares that a two-hour show will air during which Ryan Seacrest will host from his home and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie and in-house mentor Bobby Bones will all conference in remotely.
Seacrest, Perry and Richie will appear from their homes in Los Angeles while Bryan will judge from his home in Nashville. The show's Top 20 contestants will perform from their own homes during the episode. More details will be revealed closer to the episode's air date. Perry opened up to fans about the upcoming live shows during a recent Q&A on Instagram Live, sharing that the competition series will have to get "really creative" amid social distancing practices. "Well, I think that we're all gonna have to be very creative," she said. "I know that we're going to get really creative and you'll just have to be tuning into that creativity that we are probably going to create from our individual homes. We'll see how this goes."
Production on Idol was suspended in mid-March so that contestants could get home to their families amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to suspend production was made following the announcement of Los Angeles County's guidelines to help slow the spread of the coronavirus including prohibiting large gatherings. Production was still working remotely on the pre-taped episodes and the network extended the time until its live shows by airing two episodes set in set in Aulani across two weeks instead of one. This weekend, the show aired American Idol: This Is Me, which gave fans a closer look at the lives of each of the Top 20 contestants including unseen footage and performance highlights. The second part of the special will air April 19 and will reveal the final member of the Top 20.
Idol is in a similar situation to NBC's The Voice, which is also approaching its own live shows. "What's scary is we're going to have to do The Voice in some fashion like this," Blake Shelton told Jimmy Fallon on video chat this week. "Because obviously the live shows are coming up here in just a matter of weeks, and especially in LA we're not gonna be ready to have events again. It's gonna be crazy. We're gonna have to coach like this, it's just gonna have to work out this way. It's gonna be nuts."