The search for a superstar


“You are going to Hollywood!” These famous words from the “American Idol” judges have started many well-known celebrities’ careers and continue to help people achieve their dreams each year. 

The 20th season of “American Idol” premiered on Feb. 27 and will air around 13 episodes. The contestants first audition for the show before moving on to ‘Hollywood Week,’ which consists of two rounds: the genre challenge and duets. During the genre challenge, the singers are grouped into categories based on their preferred genre and compete against the other members of their group for a spot in the next round. In the duet challenge, the judges pair competitors together, and they perform a duet to the song of their choice.  

“My opinion on the duets is that I think they are really good. I like how the judges paired the contestants together to make sure their voices complement each other,” Jaiden Smith, sophomore, said.  

The remaining competitors move on to the ‘Showstopper’ where judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan make their final judgements for the rest of the season. After these rounds, the audience gets to vote on their favorites for the remainder of the competition, which consists of eliminations each week. The finale is planned to air on May 22, and the judges will announce the winner from the final three.   

“This was one of my favorite experiences of my life. All I want is their success because that’s a beautiful group of humans,” Yoli Mayor, an “American Idol” contestant, said.  

For the first time in the show’s history, the judges gave out platinum tickets to three contestants, HunterGirl, Kenedi Anderson, and Jay Copeland, who had showstopping auditions. The tickets allowed the recipients to skip the first round of ‘Hollywood Week’ and advance straight to the duets. Additionally, they got to pick their partner.  

“I was disappointed that she [Kenedi Anderson] left because I thought she would go pretty far in the competition,” Derek McCullough, Freshman, said.  

One of the platinum ticket recipients, Kenedi Anderson, announced that she was dropping out of the competition due to personal reasons. This came as a surprise to the judges and audience, as many thought she would go far in the competition, with Luke Bryan saying that she is the “biggest star” he has seen on “American Idol.” Shortly after announcing her departure from the show, Anderson posted a TikTok of her new song. The lyrics of the song talk about how she wants something with “no strings attached,” and many believe she is talking about her reasons for exiting “American Idol.” While nothing has been proven, several of her fans think she might have signed a record deal.  

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but I know it is necessary,” Anderson said on an Instagram post announcing her departure.  

Make sure to tune in each week on Sunday night to watch the journey to find the next “American Idol.”