GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- It’s official! ABC is welcoming America’s favorite hosts back for season five of American Idol. Industry legends Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will return as judges, and Ryan Seacrest will make his way to the big stage as the competition’s host.

“We are thrilled that Katy, Lionel, Luke and Ryan will be back to help discover our next American Idol,” said executive producer Eli Holzman, CEO of Industrial Media. “This dream team has selected and guided some of the most talented ‘Idol’ contestants in the history of the series, and we can’t wait to see who they’ll find next.”

In preparation for the upcoming season, the franchise is hosting virtual auditions beginning Friday, Aug. 6, as part of “Idol Across America,” a live virtual nationwide search for the nation’s next music superstar, taking place in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

All singers and artists are encouraged to audition and show off their talent! If interested in auditioning, refer to the “Idol Across America” virtual audition dates below.

“Idol Across America” auditions will be held as follows (subject to change):  

  • Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina (Aug. 6)
  • Connecticut, New Jersey, New York (Aug. 8)
  • Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas (Aug. 11)
  • Florida, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia (Aug. 13)
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi (Aug. 16)
  • Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee (Aug. 18)
  • Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada (Aug. 21)
  • Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming (Aug. 23)
  • Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin (Aug. 25)
  • Open Call: Nationwide (Aug. 27)
  • Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah (Aug. 31)
  • Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont (Sept. 2)
  • Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. (Sept. 8)
  • Open Call: The South (Sept. 10)
  • Open Call: East Coast (Sept. 13)
  • Open Call: West Coast (Sept. 16)
  • Open Call: Nationwide (Sept. 21)

For information on how to sign up for “Idol Across America” and a chance to virtually audition in front of an “American Idol” producer, please visit More details on specific dates, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions are available on the website. Contestants must be at least 15 years old to audition and may do so on any “Idol Across America” date regardless of your location.

(Information provided by ABC)