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‘American Idol’ to Shift to Remote Episodes Starting April 26

The three judges, host Ryan Seacrest and the 20 contestants to perform from home

“American Idol” will continue airing its current season remotely, ABC announced on Tuesday.

Starting Sunday, April 26, the singing competition show will shift from pretaped episodes to new installments featuring the three judges, host Ryan Seacrest, mentor Bobby Bones and the top 20 contestants all appearing from home.

The episode will be preceded on April 19 by the second “This Is Me” recap episode featuring unseen footage and performance highlights from the 20 contestants.

There had been considerable questions about how “American Idol” would handle its live episodes while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and government stay-at-home mandates precluded the possibility of the show’s usual live-audience studio setup.

The season was set to begin airing live episodes late last month, but ABC and producers Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment bought themselves a few extra weeks to sort out the situation by scheduling additional recap episodes using pre-recorded material once production was forced to shut down.

In a Facebook Live conversation over the weekend, judge Katy Perry teased the shift to remotely produced episodes. “I think we’re all gonna have to be really creative,” she said. “You’ll just have to be tuning into that creativity that we are probably going to create from our individual homes … We’ll see how this goes.”