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Despite COVID, Ryan Seacrest says new 'American Idol' season "looks like [it] should look and has looked over the years"

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ABC/Brian Bowen Smith(LOS ANGELES) — “What do you have to lose by not going for your dreams?” asks Katy Perry in a new teaser for the 2021 season of American Idol.  Well, according to host Ryan Seacrest, one thing you didn’t have to lose was your health, thanks to the COVID-19 protocols the show followed this year.

Last year, the pandemic forced Idol to originate from the homes of the contestants and the judges.  But going into this year’s auditions, Ryan says they were prepared.

“This season we created bubbles, different places in California — we did all the auditions there,” he tells ABC Audio. “The contestants, they auditioned online, then the best of the best came out to California and they had to quarantine and be tested, as we all did, before each of these shoots.”

“We were in a safe environment. We shot Hollywood Week from the Dolby Theater, as we have done in years past,” he explains. “So the scale of the show looks like American Idol should look and has looked over the years.”

“And then our plan in the spring is to be back in the studio,” Ryan notes. “I don’t know if we have an audience or not, but we should be back on the big stage with the judges, myself and the contestants. So that’s exciting.” 

Katy certainly thinks it’s exciting: On her socials, the new mom posted a GIF of herself in a cow-print outfit — a nod to the fact that she was nursing during the auditions — along with the caption, “This MOM says WOW…only 3 weeks until the @americanidol premiere! See you there?”

Katy and and her fellow judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will be behind the judges’ table when American Idol returns to ABC on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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