American Idol Season 20: Release Date, Cast, And New Details

America can't get enough of a rising star's story. There's something about the pursuit of rags-to-riches that feels relatable and tugs at the heartstrings of millions around the country. It's no wonder, then, that we will see reality competition classic "American Idol" return for a 20th season.


The storied reality show has changed the life of several stars who have seen astronomical success as a result of the show. Hopefuls walk into the audition room with the hope that their Kelly ClarksonCarrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, or Chris Daughtry-style come up in the music industry is about to begin (per Insider). 

Fans are also loving the dynamic between the judges on the series, which as of late has been Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. Their unique combination of music industry experience and the stars that stop by to help alongside them make for a competition that's still too good to miss out on.

When is the American Idol Season 20 release date?

"American Idol" is entering Season 20, but it's just their fifth season on ABC (via Talent Recap). Previously, the reality competition series aired on FOX from 2002 to 2016. Fans have stuck with the show through the ups and downs, and the excitement for Season 20 is as high as it's ever been.


"Idol" fans can mark Sunday, February 27, 2022 on their calendars, because that's when the show is back in all its glory, per NextTV. Fans are eager to tune in at 8 p.m. ET to watch a new batch of hopefuls try their luck at a music career. They'll also be aware that this premiere date closely follows the pattern that the show has previously had, with a February premiere and the season concluding in May.

The late winter/early spring release is exciting for fans who are eager to see what kind of talent rises to the top. Every year, they join the journey as talents from all genres and all walks of life compete to win over Americans.

Who is in the cast of American Idol Season 20?

"American Idol" fans will be happy to learn that all three of their favorite judges are returning for Season 20. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan are all slated to return. Host Ryan Seacrest, the only remaining member of the original "Idol" team, will also be coming back (via Taste of Country). Since it's move to ABC, the core cast of the show has remained the same. 


"Luke, Katy, Lionel and Ryan are music and industry icons that have become synonymous with 'Idol' on ABC," said the executive vice president of Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, Rob Mills (per Good Housekeeping). 

"Their star power is unmatched, and their support is a gift to our contestants that have deeply benefited from their wisdom over the past four seasons — and they're ready to do it again. As we begin a momentous season, I think it's safe to say this dream team has officially cemented their legacy on 'Idol.'"

What new details do we know about American Idol season 20?

One of the best parts of a new season of "American Idol" is celebrating all the new contestants. Like in previous seasons, contestants for season 20 must be a certain age. This year's crop must be born between June 2, 1992 and September 15, 2006 (per Good Housekeeping).


As far as contestants go, they will continue working with the show's altered format, implemented as a result of the pandemic. The show went virtual in the middle of Season 18 as shutdowns impacted the season in progress. Season 19 featured remote auditions and a limited open call to determine what contestants would go on to audition for the judges. There was then limited in-person auditions at three locations across California (via Deadline).

Season 20 will feature contestants chosen from sending in auditions, as well as virtually performing for producers (via Gold Derby). Fans are eager to see whether it leads to a more diverse crop of candidates moving forward.