Does the New ‘American Idol’ Quarantine Format Give an Advantage to the Younger Generation?

American Idol made history this week with its first performances from home. All twenty contestants submitted their videos from their house for the judges to critique. However, a few people pointed out that this American Idol quarantine format might be more advantageous for the younger generation. 

Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Just Sam, and Luke Bryan on 'American Idol' zoom style
Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Just Sam, and Luke Bryan on ‘American Idol’ | ABC via Getty Images

How did ‘American Idol’ try to keep the show fair while contestants performed from home?

The American Idol producers checked every tiny detail for the remote performances. They even worked with various internet providers, including Verizon, to guarantee that internet speeds were the same. The producers sent routers to some contestants who needed it, according to Billboard.

American Idol is all about fairness, so we sent everyone a kit that had the same mics, the same set, the same lights,” judge Katy Perry told People Magazine. “It was up to the talent. They had the option to perform with their own instruments or utilize our music director from afar.”

Each contestant received an iPhone, a ring light, and microphones. While watching the show, viewers could tell that there were a few different camera angles for each performance. 

“Another part of the rules was that each contestant had three opportunities to perform their performance and pick from their best one,” Idol judge Luke Bryan explained to People. “They just had to pick their favorite one of those performances.”

How is the youngest generation at an advantage for ‘American Idol’s 2020 remote format?

Generation Z — the current 13 to 21-year-olds — are most likely to have iPhones more than any other generation, according to Business Insider

America’s current teens are tech-savvy with their iPhones and accustomed to taking selfies and producing videos such as TikToks. The producers of American Idol even commented that this generation made the at-home performances easy.

“It’s kind of fascinating too because they grew up documenting their life via phone or social media, so they get it so that that helps a lot,” Megan Michaels Wolflick, American Idol executive producer told Billboard.

There are only seven contestants over the age of 21 who do not fall into that gen z bracket. 

Do fans notice the difference between the Gen Z and the Millenials on ‘American Idol’?

“I feel like Jovin’s audio isn’t the best,” one fan commented on Reddit regarding 29-year-old Jovin Webb’s performance. 

While some fans might notice the difference between the two age-groups, other fans are happy that they can enjoy the music without special effects.

“You guys, #AmericanIdol is suddenly about singing and not stage effects and excessive production,” another fan tweeted.

Some contestants might be more comfortable singing in the comfort of their own home. Others might have performed better on stage. 

“It’s kind of in your advantage because we can hear your subtleties,” Katy Perry said to the last singer, Johnny West.

We will find out the results of America’s vote on May 3, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. That might tell us whether or not the younger generation is sweeping this competition with their iPhone heavy tech skills. 

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