“Idol” Returns

The once beloved reality show returned to TV after its cancellation following its 14th season on television. 

Lauren Blanks, Entertainment Editor 

March 11 saw to the highly anticipated return of “American Idol” to TV after a brief hiatus beginning in 2016 when it was cancelled from the FOX television network.  The show was revamped with an entirely new panel of judges consisting of pop diva Katy Perry, country superstar Luke Bryan, and R&B legend Lionel Richie.  However, the structure, beloved host Ryan Seacrest, and even the dynamic blue backdrop of the show remain nearly identical to the original show, despite its debut on a new network, ABC.  “Idol” was once the most popular competition show in America, drawing more than 25 million viewers at its peak, procuring some of the biggest stars of today like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.  However, the final seasons of the show saw to a dramatic drop in ratings, resulting in them closing the star-studded doors. 

The new season shows some talented promise, with hopefuls like Noah Davis and Alyssa Raghu, whose performances left the judges predicting major success for the singers.  The greatest measure of success for the performers? A coveted hug from one of the three judges, a peculiar habit that especially Richie adopts, where he shows his appreciation for talented singers by standing and embracing them, as if at a loss for words.   

The biggest change on the new show, the panel, introduces a new dynamic, as the beloved villain of Simon Cowell is long gone, and the benevolent and supportive disposition of the three new judges leaves each contestant feeling hopeful, even without a golden ticket to Hollywood.  The relationships between the three seemed pretty mellow and undramatic, their interactions brief as though they are still getting acquainted.  However, the outspoken and big personality of Perry has already embroiled the show in some controversy after she kissed a contestant and flashed the camera after slipping and dancing on the floor.  Her fellow judges are standing beside her and ensure viewers that her actions were out of context.  One must simply wait for the next episode to see if her behavior trend continues. 

All in all, the new season of “Idol”, while it will show some talent, is viewed by many to be doomed before it begins, as its simple objective of performance and limited interaction with the celebrity judges is outdated compared to the uber-successful shows like “The Voice” who show a bond between coaches and contestants that add a deeper level of entertainment to the show that “American Idol” simply cannot match.  “Idol” may need to show some fresh ideas, or else Perry’s antics may remain the only part of the show that people talk about.