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How to watch American Idol 2021 online: stream every new show from anywhere

watch american idol 2021 online
(Image credit: ABC/Brian Bowen Smith)
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Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are back behind that famous panel for a new season of American Idol - the show that has unearthed superstar talent like Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson in previous years. Who will be the nation’s next singing sensation? The search is underway, and we're here to tell you how to watch American Idol 2021 from wherever you are in the world today.

Watch American Idol 2021 online

When: Sunday nights from February 14

Channel: ABC (US) / CTV (Canada)

Time: 8pm ET/PT (7pm CT)

Stream: watch ABC with a FREE FuboTV 7-day trial (opens in new tab)

Watch anywhere: try the top VPN around 100% risk-free  (opens in new tab)

New York singer-songwriter Just Sam was crowned the winner of last year's show ahead of runner-up Arthur Gunn. It was the strangest series we've ever seen, and one that culminated in a finale that saw Ryan Seacrest announce the winner via video-link - poor Sam having to celebrate alone in her bedroom, brandishing a tablet with a feed of her grandma on it. 

The new season looks much more like the pre-pandemic version of the show we all know and love, with special Covid-19 safety protocols in place to allow the contestants to perform in-person for the superstar judges!

Keeping up with tradition, the early stages of the competition, including the auditions and Hollywood shows, are set to be pre-recorded. Then we'll switch to a live format when the judges have whittled our 2021 hopefuls down to just 20 acts. That’s the plan, and hopefully they’ll pull it off without a hitch.

Ready for another helping of the bizarre and the breathtaking? Read on to discover how to watch American Idol 2021 online and stream new episodes every Sunday from anywhere on earth.

watch American Idol 2021 online

How to watch American Idol 2021 online for free in the US

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If you have cable you can enjoy the latest episode of American Idol on ABC from 8pm ET/PT or 7pm CT every Sunday from February 14.

ABC has an online platform (opens in new tab) where you can watch live episodes or re-watch previous instalments from the current season, but you may need to enter your cable provider details first.

Alternatively, you can get ABC without the commitment (or cost) of cable by using an OTT streaming service. 

Of the many options, FuboTV (opens in new tab) stands out as one of the few to offer ABC as part of its line-up - priced from $64.99 a month, it's a complete cable replacement service and you can try a FREE FuboTV trial (opens in new tab)first to see if it meets your needs.

Not in the US? Don't worry - all you need is a top-notch VPN (opens in new tab) and you'll be able to watch all the same streaming services and shows you would back home, wherever you are.

How to watch American Idol online from outside your country

If you're abroad right now and unable to access the streaming services you normally use, there's a reason for this: geo-blocking, a common digital annoyance that means certain content can only be viewed in certain parts of the world.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution. Downloading a VPN will allow you to stream shows like American Idol online anywhere. It's a simple bit of software that changes your IP address, meaning that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

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We've put all the major VPNs through their paces and we rate ExpressVPN as our top pick, thanks to its speed, ease of use and strong security features. It's also compatible with just about any streaming device out there, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as Android and Apple mobiles.

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watch American Idol online canada

How to watch American Idol 2021 online in Canada

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Fans in Canada are in luck, too, as Citytv is airing new episodes of American Idol 2021 on Sundays, at the same time they go out in the US - that's 8pm ET/PT.

If you miss a live broadcast, you can catch new episodes for FREE on Citytv’s online platform (opens in new tab) a day after they air... but you'll need to enter your TV provider details first.

Out of the country when American Idol is on? Simply grab a VPN (opens in new tab) as described above and continue to watch episodes online, just as if you were at home.

watch American Idol online uk

How to watch American Idol 2021 online in the UK

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There's no word yet on when the new series of American Idol will hit UK screen - so for now you'll have to make do with the American Idol 2020 Collection that's currently available to stream on Netflix (opens in new tab).

However, anyone from North America who's in the UK right now should remember they can tap into their local TV coverage and watch American Idol live by using a VPN (opens in new tab).

watch American Idol online australia

Can you watch American Idol 2021 in Australia? 

Sorry, Aussie mates - Foxtel dropped the rights to air the popular talent show Down Under after season 17, and we don't know of any way to watch American Idol in Australia live.

The exception is anyone currently in Australia from abroad. If that's you and you've travelled from a country you can watch American Idol 2021 online, then working some VPN magic (opens in new tab) as discussed above will let you watch the show like you normally would at home.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.