American Idol gets a heartfelt facelift

Photo courtesy of CNN | The judges for the reboot of the show are Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Longtime host Ryan Seacrest maintains his position.

Joining shows like Roseanne, Will & Grace and Whose Line Is It Anyway, American Idol was resurrected from the canceled TV show graveyard for a two-night premiere event Sunday and Monday. Although the OG singing competition show boasts new judges, new talent and a new network, not much has noticeably changed. In fact, the Idol reboot’s greatest strength is its return to its classic roots underneath the surface-level changes.

American Idol first aired 16 years ago before some of this year’s contestants were even born, and much of the two-hour premiere episodes focused on how this new generation grew up during the heyday of the show. Young talents like Noah Davis, Layla Spring and Alyssa Raghu were quick to point out that they’d grown up watching the show and dreaming of winning only to have their hopes dashed when the show was canceled two years ago. Those hopes will likely be realized for one 2000s baby now, as most of the competition shown has been far and away dominated by the nostalgic teens.

Along with the fresh talent, the judges’ table hosts three new superstars to impart their advice on the young group of singers. Popstar Katy Perry is flanked by country heartthrob Luke Bryan and R&B legend Lionel Richie, and so far, it’s been abundantly clear that these judges are cohesive and get along. They’ve doled out coveted golden tickets to Hollywood as one unit on more than one occasion. Perry is clearly meant to be the focal point of the show, but as the premiere unfolded, Bryan and Richie became more of a presence in the audition room.

After the show’s lackluster last few seasons, Idol’s new wealth of talent on both sides of the judges’ table promises an interesting return to a show that once dominated the ratings. Idol’s biggest competitor, The Voice, still won the ratings race Monday night, but Idol’s focus on the new generation could gain more traction as the season progresses.

By: Jessica Griggs ~Editor-in-Chief~