Is There an Age Limit for 'American Idol'?

The audition rounds of American Idol are well underway, with a whole host of talented singers already securing a place in Hollywood week. Watching aspiring superstars as young as 16 and 17, such as Ryleigh Madison and Kenedi Anderson, has got audiences wondering if there is an age limit for American Idol.

Newsweek has everything you need to know about age limits on the long-running talent show.

Is There an Age Limit for American Idol?

Yes, there is an age limit for American Idol and it is a pretty strict one.

You can only enter American Idol if you are 15-years-old or above, but no older than 29-years-old at the time of your audition.

For audiences wondering, the strict age limit will explain why the contestants on the show are pretty young looking, or that rarely anybody crosses the 30-years-old mark by the time the live shows come around.

There are a few other rules which may also affect an individual's eligibility to audition for American Idol.

For example, if you have appeared on the show before and made it to the Top 10 in the live shows, you are not allowed to audition again.

You must also not have an exclusive recording or touring contract in place or be running for public office.

Additionally, if you are under 18-years-old, you must bring a parent or legal guardian to the auditions. You must also be a legal U.S. resident and legally be allowed to work in America to audition.

The audition process is quite a long one. First of all, you have to submit an online audition tape, where you perform and also answer some personal questions.

Usually, there is around a six-month wait after submitting an audition tape before you hear your fate.

If successful, singing hopefuls then audition for the show's producer, who ultimately decides if you get to audition in front of the judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Then, your fate is in the judge's hands. They can vote to send you through to Hollywood week or they can say no.

Alternatively, you can skip that entire process. If you are aged between 15 and 29, you can audition on the day of the "open auditions" in front of producers by signing up for walk-in slots.

If you are successful after the audition process, you will set off for Hollywood week, where you will be one step closer to making the live shows.

Over the years, the age limit for American Idol has changed. During the first three seasons of the show, you had to be between the ages of 16 and 24 to audition. The age was then raised to 28.

In 2010, the lower age limit was reduced from 16 to 15 and remains in place today.

The youngest contestant to ever win American Idol was Jordin Sparks in 2007 when she was 17-years-old. The oldest was Taylor Hicks in 2006, who was 29.

So far in American Idol 2022, two contestants, Huntergirl, 23, and Kenedi Anderson, 17, have received the coveted platinum ticket, meaning during the first few days at Hollywood week they will be able to watch from the audience, eye up the competition and pick their duet partner.

There is just one more platinum ticket for the judges to hand out before Hollywood Week begins on Monday, March 28.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

american idol 2022
"American Idol" judges Lionel Ritchie, second left, Katy Perry, second right, and Luke Bryan, right, with host, Ryan Seacrest, left. ABC