Lionel Richie Details How 'American Idol' Will Continue Virtually


For the first time ever, American Idol will continue on virtually from the contestants and judges homes due to COVID-19 quarantine. Lionel Richie and Ryan Seacrest shared on-air on Thursday, April 16, the Idol hopefuls will still get the chance to chase their dreams.

Ryan will host from home in Los Angeles with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie also at their respective homes in L.A. while Luke Bryan and Bobby Bones will similarly be hunkered down at their respective homes in Nashville.

As for the contestants? They will also all be home! The Idol hopefuls will perform at home and America will still continue to vote for the next American Idol.

“And we’re going to mentor them and we’re going to judge them,” Lionel shared on-air. “We’re going to get in-depth on the top 21 [this Sunday],” he explained. “… We have a tie between Grace and Lauren … then we will have our Top 20 but then what happens is people wanted to hear more about the contestants so we’re now giving them more of the behind-the-scenes of what they’re going through.”

Lionel added that performing from home will be a whole new test for the contestants.

“I think a lot of them have never had the total experience of years of crowds screaming except we just fished Hawaii … [and] I saw their eyes pop when they walked onstage for the first time and said ‘Oh my God, the crowds screaming at me!’” he shared. “So this is going to be pretty much a test: Can they pull themselves together when their family and friends are in the room only?”

Find out this Sunday on American Idol at 8/7c on ABC! Listen back to the audio above for more.