Live Audiences Can Now Cheer on AMERICAN IDOL Contestants In-Person
By Movieguide® Staff
ABC’s singing competition show AMERICAN IDOL will return to the studio and be one of the first major shows to have live audiences, Deadline first reported.
Since its 15-season run on Fox, the reboot to AMERICAN IDOL has grown a loyal fanbase on ABC. With their fourth season already underway, ABC ditched the zoom format that reduced other non-scripted series to digital formats amid the pandemic.
Trish Kinane, who is President of Entertainment Programming for producer FremantleMedia North America, said they are active in searching for safe ways to get fans involved.
“We’ve got as many as we possibly can, and we’re hoping if things get better, we’ll be able to get even more audience in for the finale on May 23,” Kinane said of the fifty-person crowd allowed in the studio. “It makes a difference even having the 50 people we’re allowed to have, people reacting properly. When someone hits the high note, you can’t re-create that reaction.”
The show’s set also changed to adapt to social distancing requirements for the singers and the judges. Fans will also be able to vote on their favorite singers.
Last season, COVID-19 forced AMERICAN IDOL to move to a virtual format. However, returning to a typical show was at the forefront of the producer’s mind from the outset.
“You get the odd mask in the back of shot, but it feels pretty normal, and that’s our aim going forward as well, just to try and get something on people’s screens that feels familiar, normal, uplifting, positive, all of that stuff,” Kinane said.
“We were able to find people that maybe would have never had access to audition before because they couldn’t afford to go to a bus stop, or they didn’t want to spend money on a hotel overnight, so that was actually something that happened because of Covid that was potentially something we would definitely do again down the line,” Wolflick added.
“People thought why not take a chance on Idol because it’s not like they’re going to be doing this summer tour,” Wolflick continued. “Their schedules were very freed up. They were able to come and participate when they might have not in the past because they thought they were going to be on a small indie tour traveling around the country, and none of that was accessible anymore.”
AMERICAN IDOL joins a short list of traditionally live events returning to an in-person format as vaccines rollout across the country.