After premiering in 2002 on FOX, the reality competition series went on a two-year hiatus before returning; this time to ABC. Currently in its 20th season, the show plans to celebrate its two-decade anniversary throughout this year’s contest. For example, several former popular contestants, including notable winners, will return to American Idol Season 20 for Hollywood Week to commemorate the show that launched their careers.
Fan-favorites, including Ruben Studdard, set to return for ‘American Idol’ Season 20
As part of the 20th year celebration for American Idol, several former favorite contestants are set to return for Hollywood Week as mentors for the singers.
Season 7 winner David Cook will serve as the mentor for the rock genre and season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina for the country contestants.
The youngest American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, who took home the season 6 trophy at age 17, is also one of the show’s most successful champions. She will also return as a mentor, likely for the pop group.
Other familiar faces who are coming back to the platform that launched their careers include winners Ruben Studdard (season 2), Lee DeWyze (season 9), and Chayce Beckham (season 19), and season 10 third-place finisher Haley Reinhart.
Platinum ticket winners will skip the first week of Hollywood Week
More potent than the staple Golden Tickets which sends contestants to the Hollywood Week following their first auditions in front of the judges, the first-ever Platinum Ticket advances a lucky singer to the second round, allowing them to sit out a week and rest.
Tennessee-based country singer Hunter “HunterGirl” Wolkonowski received the first pass after the judges invited her to perform at Luke Bryan’s bar, where they surprised her with it.
17-year-old Kenedi Anderson took home the second Platinum Ticket as her piano cover of Lady Gaga’s “Applause” moved Bryan, who thinks she could become a star.
The final Platinum Ticket went to Jay Copeland, who revealed he dropped out of graduate school for acting to focus on singing. His rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” impressed the judges, namely Katy Perry, as she believes he’s a “superstar.”
‘American Idol’ Season 20 episodes air on Sundays and Mondays
On February 27, the 20th season overall but fifth to air on ABC premiered with Lionel Richie, Bryan, and Perry returning as judges.
Initially airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST, it switched to Mondays at 8 p.m. EST for “Auditions, Part 5,” which dropped on March 21.
Hollywood Week kicks off with the “Genre Challenge” on Monday, March 28, with the “Duets Challenge,” which the Platinum Ticket winners will return for, airing on Sunday, April 3. Viewers won’t have to wait long for episode 8’s “Showstopper/Final Judgment” as it airs the following day, Monday, April 4.
The Top 24 then perform in two parts; the first premiering on Sunday, April 10, and the second on Monday, April 11. Episode 11 will reveal the top 20 on Sunday, April 17. New episodes of American Idol airs at 8 p.m. EST.