IT was a special Valentine's Day gift for American Idol fans as they got to watch the season 19 premiere of the beloved sing-off competition show.
Unlike season 18, which was filmed remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the newest season of American Idol was film in person.
When was American Idol 2021 filmed?
Season 19 auditions kicked off in August 2020.
According to ABC's American Idol website, the audition round was conducted via a "custom-built Zoom technology," which took place in all 50 states between August and September 2020.
Deadline reported that season 19 headed into production on October 5, 2020, and was filmed in various locations in California to avoid having judges travel across the US.
The judges had to follow Covid-19 safety protocol, which included separate tables, as well as regular testing for cast and crew members.
Cast and crew members had to wear masks when not on camera, and social distancing was a must.
What did Claudia Conway say during her American Idol debut?
The daughter of Kellyanne Conway, a former Donald Trump aide, and George Conway of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, made her American Idol debut on the season premiere.
In the episode, Claudia revealed her relationship with her mother as being "iffy".
“It’s a lot but I only want to spread love and I agree for compromise," Claudia told host Katy Perry. “I had to move to Washington DC and I hated it."
When the singer then asked if her mother hugged her after all the public drama, Claudia replied: "Yes, but our relationship is iffy."
"The internet can be a dark place," continued the teen, who recently revealed her mental health struggles. "When life is going downhill I have my music.
"I want to get out of the controversy and drama," Claudia added.
Her father George was then heard telling his daughter he was happy to see her on the show, which made the teenager tear up.
Later, Perry told the younger Conway to "calm the storm" that’s around her life or she’s only ever going to be a TikTok star.
The singer said Conway's lost her youth because she was unable to experience it without "all this noise."
Claudia impressed the judges, however – and won a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.
When is the next episode of American Idol and how can I watch it?
The auditions will continue in episode 2 of the new season of American Idol, which premieres on Sunday, February 21.
Fans can tune into ABC Sundays at 8pm to catch the episode premiere.
Folks who have cut the cord and don't have cable can still watch ABC on a live TV service, like FuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now.
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