American Idol review: Can it rise from the ashes?

Toby Graves
March 12, 2018

Just days before Sunday's "Idol" premiere, the "Live with Kelly and Ryan" frontwoman got the chance to strut her stuff in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, all with the hope of earning a coveted ticket to Hollywood.

That particular audition-I'm trying not to give much away here-starts with Idol's worst tendency (ridicule) and ends with the show at its best (an expert identifying and affirming another person's talent). Seacrest is joined by new panelists Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, who will try to make their mark and get TV audiences to come back to the show we all thought was over.

"Pope: The Most Powerful Man In History", 7 p.m. (CNN): Premiere of series examining the history of the papacy; how the papacy and Catholicism started and spread throughout Europe. The 43-year-old host received an Emmy nomination for his past performance on "American Idol".

Carrie Underwood narrates a cold open about the effect of music on people, which transitions awkwardly to American Idol, a show will leave "no voice left unheard".

"American Idol" producers say the format will be the same.

Despite sexual misconduct allegations against Ryan Seacrest, he returns to his original role as host.

The reboot's early episodes include pre-taped auditions held in cities including New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Savannah, Georgia. Last spring, producers were reportedly trying to woo "Idol" first-season victor Kelly Clarkson to be a judge, but then NBC's "The Voice" offered her so much money that she jumped ship. We'll find out Sunday when the ABC chapter begins.

"What kind of star do you want?".

What ABC wants is more predictable: Ratings proof that it made the right decision in reviving "American Idol", which first debuted in 2002 with judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. "It is really about the contestant and we're just here to support them and to elevate them", said Perry.

Three out of the 15 seasons to date ended with Tarheels as the winners: Barrino from High Point, McCreery from Garner and Johnson from Asheville.

As usual, the first episodes of "American Idol" will revolve around the auditions, so those have been pretaped.

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