American Idol 2021: See First PHOTO Judges Back on Set

AMERICAN IDOL - The iconic star-maker competition series "American Idol" welcomes back music industry legends, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and veteran host Ryan Seacrest to help find AmericaÕs next singing sensation for a fourth season on ABC. (ABC/John Fleenor) LIONEL RICHIE, RYAN SEACREST, KATY PERRY, LUKE BRYAN

After a summer full of Zoom auditions, the American Idol judges and host are in California auditioning hopefuls for season 19. Check out the first look photo above.

Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and host Ryan Seacrest are back on the set of the ABC singing competition. But now, with COVID-19 protocols in place.

The biggest change? The cast and crew are not flying out to various American cities to audition hopefuls. Those big trips are a hallmark of American Idol. But to keep everyone safe, the producers are flying artists out to California to audition in 3 different cities. (Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego maybe?)

As we outlined previously, judges will will now sit six feet apart at separate tables. Additionally, the cast and crew will interact in specific zones.

American Idol 2021 Judges Auditions Begin, But Without the Travel

Plus, rigorous safety and health protocols on set will follow state and local requirements as well as union and industry guidelines for production. Like other film productions, the show will regularly test cast, crew and contestants for COVID-19.

Idol hopefuls still have a chance to audition this season as “Idol Across America” remote virtual auditions continue with nationwide open calls on Oct. 20, Oct. 23 and Oct. 28. To sign up for “Idol Across America” and a chance to virtually audition in front of an American Idol producer, please visit

American Idol season 19 will premiere on ABC midseason.


About mj santilli 34867 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!