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How to watch American Idol 2021 online: Start date, auditions, judges and schedule

How to watch American Idol 2021 online
(Image credit: ABC)
American Idol 2021 start time, channel

American Idol season 19 premieres Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.
It's on ABC. 

Something pitchy this way comes. Get ready to watch American Idol 2021 online, even if you don't have cable. The singing competition series returns for season 19 (its fourth on ABC) to sift through dozens of aspiring hopefuls, narrow them down to finalists and then crown one as the next big music star. 

American Idol season 19 brings back judges Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan, as well as host Ryan Seacrest and in-house mentor Bobby Bones. The 2021 edition kicks off audition rounds, all socially distanced in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic also prompted the show to launch "Idol Across America," which allowed people to attend remote virtual auditions from across the country. They took place in early fall and the most memorable contestants moved on to sing for the judges. 

A few changes are in store this year, Bones told Parade. "We have changed the categories a bit where people get to choose their format," he said. "In Hollywood Week, the judges went around into the rooms a bit more than ever before and worked with the contestants as well. We had duets last year, but the big twist this year was the judges paired people up."

Already, American Idol season 19 is generating buzz because one of those contestants is Claudia Conway, the daughter of Kellyanne Conway (former senior counselor to Donald Trump). 

Here is everything to know about how to watch American Idol 2021, plus watch a Valentine's Day-themed promo below:

How to watch American Idol 2021 from anywhere on Earth

Just because ABC isn't available everywhere doesn't mean you need to miss American Idol 2021 if you're away from home. Watching along with the rest of the internet can be pretty easy. With the right VPN (virtual private network), you can stream the show from wherever you go.

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How to watch American Idol 2021 in the US

Idol-ers can tune into the American Idol season 19 premiere on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

The broadcast network can be accessed with one of the best TV antennas or through a cable TV package.

If you've already cut the cord and don't have cable, you can watch ABC on a live TV service, like FuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now.

Of these options, we recommend FuboTV, one of the best streaming services on the market. Its affordable Family Plan comes with over 120 channels, including all the broadcast networks. Plus, it comes with 250 hours of Cloud DVR, so you can record all your favorite movies and shows.

Fubo.TV offers a 7-day free trial so you check out all of its features without paying upfront. Fubo's channel lineup includes local channels like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox as well as top networks such as ESPN, AMC, Food Network, FX, MTV, Syfy and more.View Deal

American Idol 2021 judges

The three judges for American Idol season 19 are the same as the previous seasons on ABC: Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Ritchie.

Ryan Seacrest also returns as host, as does Bobby Bones as the in-house mentor.

American Idol 2021 auditions and schedule

American Idol season 19 is likely to follow a similar schedule to season 17, since the early months of the pandemic led to a shortened season 18.

Here is our best estimate of the American Idol 2021 schedule:

  • Week 1 (Feb. 14): Auditions
  • Week 2 (Feb. 21): Auditions
  • Week 3 (Feb. 28): Auditions
  • Week 4 (March 7): Auditions
  • Week 5 (March 14): Auditions
  • Week 6 (March 21): Hollywood Week
  • Week 7 (March 28): Hollywood Week
  • Week 8 (April 4): Showcase/final judgment
  • Week 9 (April 11): Top 20 perform
  • Week 10 (April 18): Top 14 perform
  • Week 11 (April 25): Top 10 perform
  • Week 12 (May 2): Top 8 perform
  • Week 13 (May 9): Top 6 perform
  • Week 14 (May 16): Top 5 perform
  • Week 15 (May 23):  Finale with Top 3

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.