Since the COVID-19 pandemic remains out of control in the United States, American Idol is saying goodbye to the live casting sessions for season 4.

Announced Friday, the talent competition series will now opt for a virtual Idol Across America tour for its first round of auditions using custom-built Zoom technology. These remote auditions will begin this Aug. 10 in Delaware, Florida, and Ohio, and continue across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. into September. The new season is set to air sometime in 2021.

Season 3 winner Just Sam, who was crowned virtually, offered American Idol hopefuls a message as they begin this new process. "You might be auditioning from your bedroom, your living room," she said, "but you have to treat this as if you're on the Idol stage in front of millions of people."

ABC renewed American Idol ahead of its season 3 finale, which was filmed remotely, including a performance from judge Katy Perry. Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan also serve as judges, while Ryan Seacrest hosts.

Sign-ups and more information on the virtual audition process are available on the show's official website. See the current tour schedule below.

Delaware, Florida, and Ohio (Aug. 10)

Louisiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin (Aug. 12)

Arizona, Oregon, and Washington (Aug. 14)

Georgia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island (Aug. 16)

Open Call Auditions (Aug. 17)

Alabama, Arkansas, and Kansas (Aug. 18)

Idaho, New Mexico, and Utah (Aug. 20)

Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas (Aug. 22)

Michigan, Tennessee, and Virginia (Aug. 24)

Open Call Auditions (Aug. 25)

Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma (Aug. 26)

Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota (Aug. 28)

Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (Aug. 30)

Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming (Sept. 1)

Maine, South Carolina, and West Virginia (Sept. 3)

Alaska, California, and Hawai‘i (Sept. 5)

Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania (Sept. 7)

Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Vermont (Sept. 9)

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