Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan attend the premiere event for "American Idol" hosted by ABC at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on February 12, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

What To Expect From 'American Idol' Season 20, Including The Special Platinum Ticket

It's official, our three favorite mentors are coming back on the silver screen ready for American Idol Season 20. Along with host Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry are coming back for the fifth consecutive year as American Idol judges. The panel was formed back in Season 16 in 2018, but Seacrest has been with the franchise since the first season of American Idol.

For this new season, the ABC show will introduce the Platinum Ticket, which is given to contestants during the audition rounds and helps them get to Hollywood Week! To explain it a little bit better, Seacrest took to Twitter and posted a short video introducing the new addition.

"We all know the Golden Ticket gets you to Hollywood Week," Seacrest stated. "But this year, this is historic, for the first time, we have the Platinum Ticket. There are only three of these for the entire season, and if the judges vote unanimously for you to get this as a contestant, then you bypass the first round of Hollywood Week. I mean, it is, it's a game-changer."

Perry also spoke about the new feature via the Television Critics Association Winter Press. The singer, much like Seacrest, said the tickets will also give contestants other advantages to move forward in the competition.

"They get to basically observe from the box seats at the theater—one day, they get to rest their voice, strategize, check out the competition, and select who they want to duet with," Perry stated. "They get a tiny advantage because they're the cream of the crop."

During a promo for the singing competition, the Platinum Ticket made a small appearance, where Perry is heard saying, "See that wall over there? There is one Platinum Ticket that gets given in each city we go to. You get to go to Hollywood Week, but you get a little shortcut because it's the twentieth year of creating superstars, and you're a superstar."

Last year, Season 19 premiered on Valentine's Day. The reality competition series went remotely after production was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the talented Nashville country singer at the judge's table, country music has been highly represented throughout the competition. Two of the last four winners were country singers, Laine Hardy (Season 17) and Chayce Beckham (Season 19.) Beckham went on to beat finalist Willie Spence who came in second, and Grace Kinsler who came in third.

One of the biggest country stars from the TV series actually came in third in Season 16. Contestant Gabby Barrett created huge crossover hits "The Good Ones" and "I Hope," becoming a regular contender for several Country Music Awards. "I Hope" became her first top 10 Hot Country Song and has since become a top 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, certified 5X Platinum by the RIAA.

Let's not forget about alums Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, and The Voice superstar, Kelly Clarkson. The reality singing series first premiered back in 2002 on Fox. In 2016, after declining ratings, Fox canceled the series. Luckily, ABC picked it up and it has been booming ever since.

American Idol Season 20 audition rounds in Austin, Los Angeles, and Nashville are set to begin with the show's premiere on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Editors Note: This article was originally published on August 3, 2021. It was updated on February 24, 2022, to introduce the Platinum Ticket.