American Idol's premiere is familiar and icky, but new judges offer hope

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS — Episode 655

It's a kinder, gentler show that, at least in the first two-hour episode, jettisons Simon Cowell-style cutting commentary and more fully embraces positivity and uplift. Everybody hates me just because I eat worms.

This show wasn't a competition, but rather just a performance showcase for artists.

One of the controversies surrounding the upcoming American Idol revival is the sexual harassment allegations against its longtime host Seacrest.

While American Idol is still the show that locks one of the two exit doors and only uses footage of that mistake against the bad singers, it is also still the show that finds and elevates young vocal talent.

The show opened with an inspiring monologue by none other than Carrie Underwood, before bringing back other alums like Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard and Kris Allen at the show's Orlando, Florida auditions at - you guessed it - Disneyworld. "Idol is a story of hope, aspiration, the American dream".

After "American Idol" ended its run on Fox in 2016, ABC announced a year later it would be rebooting the series. But executives at ABC and Fremantle seem irked (and perhaps rightly) by the persistent questions about Idol's financial viability.

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The aforementioned criticism about talent pools notwithstanding, a few of the auditions are truly excellent from a vocal standpoint. It rarely comes across as a special, transcendental journey to find the next star. Good ol' American Idol! While not much has changed, there are certainly some things to look forward to.

I know about your story, and I respect your story, and I think it's lovely and inspiring.

"There's such an incredible mutual respect and everybody has their strengths and knows their different wheelhouses", Perry told GMA in an interview past year. ABC dumped the six episodes on three Saturdays in late May and early June 2014. It does not leverage as proof of why "Idol" needed to return.

No, they are not throwaway "nice judges". Richie, Perry, and Bryan are particularly averse to excessive vocal gymnastics, advising those who belt too loudly or overpower the room with their range that maybe Broadway would be better for them.

Richie would be my favorite judge on the panel, but he makes a tactical error in the premiere, a kindness that is also a revealing lameness. You know, America doesn't need another star. "I thought about it and I said, 'How many people are actually going to read it?' Then I thought about Idol reaching people". While there was a lot of talk about being a "big happy family", the judges weren't exactly one just yet. But Richie also brings decades of experience to the team as a five-time Grammy victor, one of the world's best-selling artists of all time and if you aren't sold yet, Michael Jackson's co-writer on "We are the World" among other massive Richie hits.

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