Speaking to Deadline, ABC’s SVP, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming Rob Mills said, “We knew we wanted to get some kind of results this season. You started seeing some of the things that artists and musicians were doing on Instagram and Facebook, even some of the stuff on TV, we realised there was a way of doing something different, but could also feel innovative, that’s when the producers set about doing these shows that you’ll see over the next couple of weeks.”
American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane noted that using smartphones like the iPhone made a lot of sense, simply because its contestants were no doubt more familiar with its use rather than a complicated camera setup. “In the end, we decided rather than send them some complicated camera that you really need a camera operator to use, we would go with the the technology that they’re familiar with.”
American Idol is not the first show to turn to smartphones to continue with programming. Last month, late night talk show host Conan O’Brien also revealed that he would be filming from the confines of his home using the iPhone.