I didn’t realize how excited I’d be when American Idol was finally back on my TV screen. I gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to the premiere in my preview. And after watching the show for a third time, my endorsement is even stronger.
The ABC version of American Idol is putting a heavy emphasis on backstories. But I’m not mad. The video packages can be a treacly at times, but dang if my cold little heart isn’t buying into these young singers’ stories. The combination of entertaining pieces and stellar performances resulted in a well paced 2 hours of television. I was never bored.
The Voice spends weeks with their contestants to craft full blown performances for the show’s audition episodes. I’m not saying the performances aren’t entertaining. They are! But there is something special about watching a tentative singer perform acapella, or with only guitar or piano for the first time. Each step of the way, we watch the singer grow and grow, until the best are on stage putting on a show worthy of an awards show. For the singers who go far in the competition, it’s a full circle arc viewers are witnessing, and it can be absolutely thrilling.
As far as the judges are concerned: Remember during season 10 how excited we were for the Jennifer Lopez/Steven Tyler/Randy Jackson team after the premiere, only to be disappointed once the live shows began. Editing is powerful, y’all. I can’t fully back this panel until the live shows begin. Having said that, the trio seem to have real easy chemistry. Their distinct personalities work well together. Katy Perry has had a rough album era, and some bad PR lately. But her stint on American Idol could turn her fortunes around. She’s a quirky strait shooter, with a dollop of spontaneity–totally fun to watch. Lionel Richie is the poppa bear, dispensing wise words to the younguns. And while Luke Bryan may not be as forthcoming as the others, he’s got a great sense of humor, and real kindness for the kids. Every panel could use a Paula Abdul!
By the way, a couple of dumb ass gossip sites reported that ABC edited host Ryan Seacrest’s role in the premiere. Nope. The preview was available before Variety posted details of the sexual misconduct accusations leveled against the host. The episode aired intact. Ryan’s role is reduced compared to past seasons due to his commitments to the Live with Kelly and Ryan talker which films in New York City Monday through Friday.
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American Idol is Back Yay or Nay
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