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American Idol's quarantine shows will air with pre-taped performances from 45 locations

  • When Idol kicks off its live shows next week from the homes of 20 contestants, their performances won't actually be live. Instead, they'll be "live to tape" in order to give producers a chance to edit the show to make it broadcast-ready and to make sure the contestants have an equal playing field in case of technical problems. “I think we’re about 45 different locations that we’re producing the show from now remotely. So it's quite an operation,” says showrunner Trish Kinane. Because the live shows were delayed, there will be multiple eliminations each week. Ryan Seacrest will host from an original Fox American Idol desk that he happens to have at his home. Each contestant has been sent iPhone cameras and lighting kits, while producers have been working with them on shooting themselves. “One of our contestants took it upon himself to build a little stage in his garage with backdrops, and it’s looking amazing," says Kinane. "They’re bringing out cushions and tapestries and goodness knows what else out of their cupboards. We’ve got one girl who has a lake as a backdrop, which looks fantastic. I’m proud of the quality that we hope to be able to deliver.” The contestants will be working with the in-house Idol band, whose members will be performing remotely. All the performances will be fed through a control room in Kansas City. “It is a singing show so we really wanted it to be good quality sound and vocals,” Kinane said. "It’s quite an operation. We’re not doing it all via Zoom or Skype. Basically we’re doing it in a sort of much higher quality way.”

    TOPICS: American Idol, ABC, Ryan Seacrest, Trish Kinane, Coronavirus, Reality TV