The competition’s new season premieres on Sunday, with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie all returning, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.
Bryan has revealed that there’s at least one contestant who makes him cry during the premiere.
“This season is the first time someone has made me cry by just singing,” he wrote in a post promoting the upcoming season, according to Country Living. See y’all this Valentine’s Day on ABC.”
Bryan has also already shared a clip of him joining in with a 17-year-old contestant named Alex Miller, a country singer from Kentucky, during the audition round — “I’m taking this boy home with me, “ Bryan says.
Sixteen-year-old Claudia Conway, the daughter of Donald Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway, will also be a contestant on the new season, according to Variety. Conway recently shared that her audition will air during the season premiere on Feb. 14.
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” Conway said, according to Variety. “I grew up in musical theater. Music has been one of the pillars in my life and I wouldn’t be here without it. ... Everyone thinks that this is a publicity stunt or me trying to be like, whatever, but no —music is my passion.”
Liahona and Ammon Olayan, a brother-sister duo from Provo, Utah, will be featured during the season’s second episode on Feb. 21, a publicist for “American Idol” has told the Deseret News.
The show’s season premiere airs Sunday, from 7 to 9 p.m. MT on ABC. “American Idol” episodes will be available to stream on Hulu after they air, according to Parade.
For the first time in the show’s history, preliminary auditions took place virtually via Zoom, reaching all 50 states for the first time, the Deseret News previously reported.
“It has made it more convenient and accessible for anybody and everybody,” Melissa Elfar, a producer for “American Idol,” told the Deseret News. “It’s never been easier to audition. You literally can be on your phone in your bedroom auditioning. You can be in the bathroom, in the kitchen, wherever you want to be. ... I think a lot more people are coming out now because it is so easy to audition. And the talent just keeps getting better and better.”