On Thursday night (Nov 16) American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan kicked off the Los Angeles auditions at the Hollywood & Hyland Complex. Along with auditioning singers hopeful to earn a golden ticket to the next round, the trio spoke chatted with reporters about their experiences on Idol so far.
Plus, an additional bit of fun had a massive choir of auditioners and their families serenading a surprised Lionel Richie with a flash mob style performance of his song, “Hello.”
Now, here’s a super interesting tidbit from Billboard. ABC will not carry over season numbers from FOX. Time to redo some headlines! Also–way to bury the lede, Billboard!
ABC is calling the new season of American Idol season one instead of season 16, choosing not to maintain continuity with the series’ run on Fox. The network has announced the premiere date for the revival: Sunday, March 11.
How is repeating season numbers going to work exactly?. That’s gonna get awfully confusing. That is, if the reboot is successful and is renewed for successive seasons…
The rest of the Billboard piece focuses on the judges sharing what led them to the decision to become Idol panelists. Katy says she specifically requested Lionel for the panel. “I hadn’t hung out with Lionel much but I had met him once at Sunset Tower and I was captivated for hours by his storytelling and his catalog and his context.” Early on, when it became apparent that American Idol churned out country stars, Luke wondered if he he should audition himself, “I was new to Nashville and American Idol was finding huge country stars and I remember thinking, ‘Well, dang, maybe I may need to go down there and try out.’”
Choir Choir Choir gathered singers who made it to the next round and their families to teach them an arrangement of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” It was a surprise for everybody. The singers didn’t know Lionel would be there, and Lionel had no idea he was about to be serenaded by a flash mob.
When Variety asked which of the three would take the role of Simon Cowell, the answer from everybody was a definitive NO.
“We’re artists, not record company executives or critics,” Luke insisted. “These 15- and 16 year-olds are still a couple of years away, but you can see their promise, the potential. We’re not there to discourage them. If we word it wrong, they may give up all up.” Katy believes in giving constructive criticism, “Young kids take things to heart. I can be sarcastic as all get out, and even a little snarky,” she said. “Like Simon, I’m also a truth-teller, a straight shooter. But at the end of the day, I’m not here to tell anyone they suck. It’s not about that.”
The trio explained to Entertainment Tonight why hopefuls should think twice about auditioning with one of their songs.
“Don’t do it,” Lionel flat-out warned. “Here is the thing, we have heard those songs so many times, day in and day out,” Katy explained. “And, god bless, I love my songs, I am so grateful for them [and] the experience they have given me, but I don’t need to hear them again, Unless you interpret them extremely differently.”
“But if you don’t sing them as good or better [than us], than you aren’t really going to go through, because it feels a bit like they are sucking up,” Katy added. “And then we don’t really get to know how they are as an artist.”
In this red carpet interview from Extra, Luke defended his fellow singing show host, Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive by People: “Yes, I know… it’s the topic… you know I roasted him in the beginning… and now that the world is coming at my guy. Blake, come on, you know, he’s a good looking dude.” As far as working together on American Idol, the trio were full of compliments, for each other and the hopefuls whose fates lie in their hands:
Lionel said, “This was exactly what I was praying for, which was… having a group of people that you enjoy being around.” Luke added, “God has laid his hands on these people’s voices and it’s inspiring.” Katy chimed in, “It just reminds of you of your, like, first love for music and why you did it, and why you started, so it’s a beautiful thing.”
American Idol Los Angeles auditions Day 1
Luke and Katy Show Off their Halloween Costumes (Not really Heh)