American Idol continues with iPhones being used to film contestants

American Idol continues with iPhones being used to film contestants remotely


“American Idol” is sacred with iPhone
Perhaps they should call this season American iDol.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The show must go on. American Idol stopped in mid-season by the COVID-19 crisis. But ABC resumed production with the 20 contestants filming themselves with iPhones supplied by the network.

These might be the most high-profile “Shot on iPhone” video yet.

iPhone saves American Idol

Contestants will be filming from their own homes, and it was decided to not provide them with regular TV cameras that need operators. Instead, ABC sent them Apple handsets. American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane, told Deadline, “These are kids who are really used to iPhone technology, they are really familiar with it and use it every day.”

And she’s not expecting a dropoff in video quality. “These top-of-the-range iPhones are amazing. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were using iPhones in the studio in the future,” said Kinane.

ABC plans four more episodes of American Idol. The next is Sunday April 26. Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie are being filmed separately from wherever they’re quarantining themselves to avoid the novel coronavirus.

Apple is an active participant

ABC’s chief of alternative series Rob Mills told Deadline that Apple is working closely with ABC on production. The Mac maker might be treating this season of American Idol as part of its “Shot on iPhone” advertising campaign, which seeks to demonstrate to potential buyers the capabilities of the cameras in iOS devices.

While 20 contestants preparing videos may be the largest single project of this campaign, it’s not exactly breaking new ground. Lady Gaga shot the video for her single “Stupid Love” on iPhone. And Selena Gomez used an Apple handset to shoot a video last fall.


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