Despite sending all the contestants home last week due to the coronavirus lockdown, American Idol will soldier on over the next few weeks thanks to already-in-the-can footage from the final judgment rounds in Hawaii and some clip shows focusing on the contenders who will become household names once the live shows kick off… eventually.
The first of two previously taped Showcase episodes from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, was filmed earlier this year and it finds the top 40 singers performing a concert on the beach before finding out if they make it to the top 20. The two-hour show (8-10 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC) is part one of a two-night run that a press release promises will leave judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with “difficult decisions, shocking results and an unprecedented tropical rainstorm.”
With the TV schedule scrambled as a result of the lockdown imposed by the novel coronavirus, ABC has been forced to get creative with Idol, which was slated to begin airing live performance shows in April after running through the previously taped episodes. As a result, the first Aulani episode will be followed on April 5 by the conclusion of the top 40 culling. The series will then pivot to two special clip shows: American Idol: This Is Me, which a release says will “delve deeper into the lives of our top 20 contestants with unseen footage and performance highlights”; those shows will air on April 12 (8-10 p.m. ET) and April 19 (8-10 p.m. ET).
As for what happens after that and when the live shows will air, ABC says that “we are monitoring the situation and exploring multiple options within statewide guidelines.” A new production plan is promised as soon as it is finalized.
Watch a preview of Sunday’s show, in which the judges chill without a care on the beach with Mickey and Minnie while the singers wonder where everyone went.