Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

American Idol's premiere is familiar and icky, but new judges offer hope

American Idol's premiere is familiar and icky, but new judges offer hope

Trevor Holmes of Thousand Oaks, California sings on "American Idol" which returns after a year off the year this weekend. By the end of its run, Fox was paying a premium of $1 million for every episode beyond a certain threshold of about 30 hours a season; there were seasons when Fox aired as many as 60 hours of Idol. On Sunday's premiere, there are more cutesy-inspirational sob stories than trainwrecks, but this was already a trend in Idol's Fox incarnation, an evolution towards smiley positivity.

"You're welcome, ABC!" Perry boomed after the impromptu performance for roughly 100 cocktail party guests in January.

Lionel Richie said his answer is very simple, it's the teaching aspect to share his vast experience. "Now after 10 years and a lot of, you know, aging and learning and providence, I can take all that information and really mentor and give constructive criticism, because that's really what we do".

Katy Perry then chimed in and explained that one of the greatest advantages of the show is that the judges only have a limited influence. And yes, I'm as surprised about it as you all are.

The joy of Idol was always in the carving, of course.

The show that searched for the next superstar is back.

If you loved the old audition shows for their viciousness and occasional freak-show vibe, a Disneyfied Idol might not be for you.


The show sometimes strikes the right balance between "viral" and "inspirational" (a contestant who had a "Fergie moment" as a child seeks redemption on "Idol") but largely skews in favor of the former. Increasing interest in this roll of the programming dice is that, on Mondays, "Idol" will be doing battle with NBC's "The Voice", the show that stole the music-competition reality thunder. "We know where the pain and the struggle is".

He has the benefit of dominating any conversation by just casually mentioning his tenure with the Commodores, his work with Michael Jackson, or that time he wrote "All Night Long (All Night)". And the thought for a moment was, 'Nah.' And then I realized, 'Reaching people.' The attractive part about this was I love the judging, the judges. The singer went viral this week with a clip of her talking in a secret language ("did you just say wig?") with a contestant, and now she's showing off her hidden talent: Inflating her throat like a frog.

But American Idol is different. He's never mean, but his exit lines have a tough-but-fair honesty: "You won everything today". But it didn't come back.

"And then I thought about it for a moment and I said, 'How many people are actually going to read it?'" said Richie.

Nay-sayers also point out that at least part of the appeal of the Fox "Idol" was the judging panel's personalities, particularly the notorious acidity of sinister Simon Cowell. Brutal, but that's life...until after the commercial break, when Richie has a change of heart.

"The One" was based on an overseas format that combined "Idol"-style singing competition with a "Big Brother" element, where viewers would see the contestants living together, rehearsing and (the producers hoped) developing rivalries".

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