Season 17 of American Idol is back with shocking talent, and a surprise for its viewers. The network announced they will extend simultaneous voting to the finale. The previous season of American Idol was the inaugural season since ABC revived the show. Therefore, the network is pulling a few tricks from up it's sleeve to bring to the table. "Simul-Vote" American Idol debuted "simul-vote", which was a first for US reality-competition shows. This allows viewers across the country to vote at the same time because it's broadcast simultaneously for all time zones. This way no matter where you are in the U.S. you can vote for your favorite contestants in real time. Last season ABC tried it's hand at "simul-vote" for a three week period, and it was quite successful. For this season of American Idol, it will begin Sunday, April 21st and continue through to it's finale on May 19th. This will be the first time ABC has implemented the simulcast strategy since their attempt at a U.S. version of Rising Star in 2014. They premiered an American version of the wildly successful Israeli program. Rising star was licensed to twenty five countries around the world, but unfortunately the ABC version did not last. For American Idol "simul-cast" is a new venture, and ABC is hoping that it's the perfect show for this kind of strategy. Viewer interaction is a major tool for getting audience retention, so ABC is looking to maximize engagement. So far this season of American Idol is off to a strong start, and we are seeing some truly unbelievable talent. The judges have some difficult decisions to make, since there is some serious competition going down this season. Will the network strategy match-up with the amazing quality of contestants coming through the doors? To find out, tune into American Idol Sunday, 8pm on ABC.