‘American Idol’ Showrunner Reveals Details About How Remote Shows Will Be

American Idol is all set to air its’ remote shows starting this weekend.

Showrunner Trish Kinane has opened up to mulitple outlets about what viewers can expect when they tune in and how it all came together.

Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan will be judging the Top 20 from their homes, with mentor Bobby Bones at his home as well, and Ryan Seacrest hosting from his own in LA, with the original Idol desk from the Fox era.

This weekend, because of production shutdown, season 18 will feature just four (4) final round episodes and there will be multiple eliminations each week. The episodes will be “live to tape”, which means videos from the contestants were sent in and viewers will see a broadcast-ready episode.

The Top 20 will be down to Top 10 sooner than you think, too – next weekend!

ABC alternative series senior VP Rob Mills said he believed “four weeks is the right amount of time for these people to perform.”

He adds that “it’s going to be more cutthroat because you’re going to see more people eliminated each week than normal. So there is going to be less room for error. And I think that will make it more exciting.”

Trish also shared that each of the Top 20 have been sent iPhone cameras and lighting kits, and have also been working with them on how and where to shoot their performances at home.

“It is a singing show so we really wanted it to be good quality sound and vocals,” she shared. It’s quite an operation. We’re not doing it all via Zoom or Skype. Basically we’re doing it in a sort of much higher quality way.”

She continued that with continuous video calls between prodcuers, contestants, music and engineering, “some of the looks that we and the kids together are pulling off in their homes are great.”

“One of our contestants took it upon himself to build a little stage in his garage with backdrops, and it’s looking amazing. They’re bringing out cushions and tapestries and goodness knows what else out of their cupboards. We’ve got one girl who has a lake as a backdrop, which looks fantastic. I’m proud of the quality that we hope to be able to deliver.”

The Top 20 finalists include Cyniah Elise, Makayla Phillips, Lauren Spencer-Smith, Olivia Ximines, Arthur Gunn, Kimmy Gabriela, Franklin Boone, Julia Gargano, Aliana Jester, Sophia Wackerman, Just Sam, Jonny West, Grace Leer, Dillon James, Louis Knight, Francisco Martin, Jovin Webb, Faith Becnel, Dewayne Crocker Jr. and Nick Merico.

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