The ABC singing competition "American Idol," which delayed its series of live shows scheduled to begin April 6, will return April 26 with judges and contestants alike appearing remotely from their homes.
The network said additional details on season 18's remote-video episodes "will be shared at a later date." The announcement made no indication that those shows would air in their usual live format.
Additionally, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, mentor Bobby Bones and host Ryan Seacrest each posted on social media some variant of a template saying Bryan and Bones would appear from their homes in Nashville, Tennessee, and the others from their homes in California. Contestants likewise will be performing from home and "America will VOTE and choose a WINNER!"
ABC this Sunday airs the second of two 2-hour specials of prerecorded and newly edited material, "American Idol: This Is Me," that delves into the lives of the remaining Top 21 singers with "unseen footage and performance highlights." The upcoming episode will reveal if home viewers have voted either Grace Leer or Lauren Mascitti into the Top 20.
This season has featured Bellport singer Shannon Gibbons in the Top 40, as well as two other Long Islanders, Centerport's Vaeda Black and North Bellmore's Evan Kuriga, who made it through the initial auditions.
With coronavirus restrictions having shuttered the show's last taped location — the Aulani resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii — as well as the Hollywood studio where the live show is shot, and with the singers all subsequently sent home, ABC said on March 27, "Regarding 'American Idol' live shows, we are monitoring the situation and exploring multiple options."