"I've waited a lifetime for this!" shouts host Ryan Seacrest as the first episode of the revamped American Idol gets underway.
For starters, the gimmick has been diluted by the numerous follow-up seasons (this will be the sixteenth "Idol") and various competitive shows.
The first ticket to Hollywood went to high school student Catie, whose quirky personality and audition (the very first of the show), made you think it was going to go horribly wrong before she opened her mouth and sang an original song, "21st Century Machine". She's clearly not the best singer in the world, but she's not bad.
Next came Noah Davis of Arkansas, who delivered a surprisingly soulful performance of "Stay" by Rihanna.
I wondered if this might be related to his former stylist, Suzie Hardie, saying he harassed her for years, claims that included, as Variety reported, "grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later". "I borrow it from Lionel but he calls it instant identity", said Perry. Caty decides to sing her own song, called "21st Century Machine", which is historically a awful decision. "He's the anchor for me", said Richie.
Ron was born and raised in the Congo and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was 10-years-old.
ABC has long wanted a hit singing competition series (Duets, Rising Star, I could go on). He had a really delicate voice and already exhibited strong storytelling instincts. But Perry is the breakout at the judges' table.
When the reality juggernaut had its grand finale on April 7, 2016, I cynically predicted it would be back in less than five years.
"I've got two children that they put me with", Richie told ET. He's going to Hollywood after all.
Maddie Roppe sings "Rainbow Connection" and gives some low-key Brandi Carlile vibes - and she gets through, too. She had a throwback sound with a bit of a modern twist, and her phrasing was great. Koby had a lot of vocal runs in her audition, but the judges torpedoed her chances and said "No".
The problem is the same one that plagued the last several seasons of FOX's "American Idol". "We're artists, not record company executives or critics", he told Variety. Good for Harper Grace.
Taking on the role as a judge on the reboot of the popular show, Perry revealed she believed "American Idol" was a unique talent competition compared to similar shows on television. But instead of giving up, she's heading to Idol.