Back in 2008, I really thought I was going to be the next American Idol.
I had it all planned out. My stage name would be Elisa, and my audition song was going to be “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. I was going to get that golden ticket and become the next big star, my debut single being strangely reminiscent of Avril Lavinge’s “Complicated.”
While that didn’t exactly happen, I was still a major American Idol fan back in the day. I can picture myself sitting in Snoopy pajamas on my living room’s ugly green couch, watching David Cook win season seven of the show. Cook beat out America’s sweetheart David Archuleta, who still sort of won because he was featured on an episode of Nickelodeon’s iCarly later on.
You can imagine how depressed I was when, finally, in 2016, American Idol met its demise as Fox cancelled the show after another significant ratings drop.
#AmericanIdolisOverParty… or is it?
Of course, American Idol couldn’t just die in peace. Here we are two years later with the show being resurrected for season 16. With the judging panel made up of R&B legend Lionel Richie, pop sensation Katy Perry, and country singer Luke Bryan, the show made its new debut earlier this March.
As a former American Idol fan, I felt it was my duty to write an honest, serious review about the new series. However, after watching the first episode, I can tell you that this review will be anything but serious.
I’m telling you, the episode is the definition of messy. Let’s go over some of my favorite moments:
We start off with Catie Turner from the lovely state of New York. Cute girl, bit on the funky side, but damn- sister can sing. After playing her original song entitled “Twenty First Century Machine”, the judges are stunned. Turner’s voice reminds me a bit of Halsey; she has a certain quality to her that makes her incredibly interesting to listen to. Lionel Richie claps loudly, bangs on the table, declares that Turner is a Martian that has descended from the cosmos to bless our ears.
He really says that. I quote: “Every once and a while a Martian lands and we happen to see that Martian” – Lionel Richie, 2018.
What. A. Dad. Lionel Richie is so pure and we must protect him.
At the end of the day, Turner gets a golden ticket, and is taking her wacky ass to Hollywood. Ryan Seacrest asks if she’s going to take home her golden ticket and cuddle it, or perhaps snuggle it. Really, Ryan? Who does that? *removes fake golden ticket from under pillow* Nothing to see here…
The next contestant receives a “no” from the judges… OR SO YOU THINK. Richie, after mulling it over, changes his vote, forcing producers of the show to hunt down the contestant and bring him back. One again, I say: so precious.
A few auditions later, the judges reject a woman who sings an original song called “Never Stops”. The song, which must have taken her endless hours to write, is composed solely of the lyric: “The devil never stops coming for you”. However, it takes this girl at least a minute and thirty seconds to sing the line, as she draws out every note possible. Her riffs go on for miles. Sister, there is only room for one over-exaggerated singer, and that seat is already taken by Christina Aguilera. Buh-bye.
After every commercial break, Ryan Seacrest feels the need to announce that “American Idol is back” in that fake announcer voice of his. We get it, Ryan. You’re tired of Kelly Ripa and this is your only escape from her. Settle down before you break a nail.
Other highlights include Lionel Richie telling someone if they want an alpaca, they can have one, all of the judges having a dance party with a contestant who does a poor man’s rendition of a Frank Sinatra classic (it was a big no for me), and Luke Bryan being the incredibly uninteresting judge of the three.
In all seriousness, the episode wasn’t all that bad. I did still get chills while listening to some of the contestant stories, and genuinely enjoyed the chemistry between the three judges. While some have complained that there’s no “Simon” or “Paula” figure on this year’s panel, I’m actually not mad at that. Each of the three judges were both tough and critical of every performance, but also provided lots of encouragement, evento those they didn’t send to Hollywood. All in all, I enjoyed watching the episode, both for its hopeful tone and the ridiculous moments,
That being said, I don’t think American Idol will ever be what it was back in the day. Competing against shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent, Idol will always be the less interesting option for viewers. There’s nothing exciting like big swivel chairs or seven-year-old opera singers. But, if you’re a viewer who’s looking for a bread-and-butter type game show, the new season of American Idol is just for you.