HOLLYWOOD—”American Idol” is back, the iconic series that brought us the incredible music-genre returned to the airwaves on March 11, at its new home on ABC. The nationwide search kicked off last August, as the Idol bus traveled from Portland, Oregon, to Orlando, to New York City in pursuit for talent, covering 23 cities across the country. Auditioning was made easier than ever as hopefuls had the opportunity to submit audition videos online, as well as via select social media platforms using an official tag, #TheNextidol, cultivating 300,000 posts. Also for the first time in AI history, hopefuls had the opportunity to audition through a livestream platform. The ratings were excellent with an estimated 11 million viewers, so it’s a solid restart for the franchise.
Simon Cowell was the best judge ever, with his honest, shoot-from-the-hip, tell-it-like-it-is, critiques. Let’s face it, everyone misses Simon. Season 16, brings us Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Of course, Ryan Seacrest is back. This is how it will go down, the auditions began on March 11 and March 12, from Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville. On March 18 and March 19, the auditions will continue, including Savannah, Nashville, New Orleans and NYC. On March 25, more auditions from LA, Nashville, New Orleans, Savannah and NYC.
March 26 will be Part 1, from Hollywood Week. April 1: Hollywood Week Part 2, Group 1 (12 contestants) solo performances. April 2, Top 50. April 8: Semi-finals Top 24, April 9: Semifinals Top 24, Group 1, Celebrity Duets. April 15, Top 24, Group 2 Solo Performances, April 16: Semi-Finals Top 24, Group 2 Celebrity Duets. April 22- Live Finals, April 23, continues with Live Finals. April 29-Live Finals. May 6, May 13, May 20 Live Finals and May 21 Live Finale.
Of course, nothing is ever written in stone, so things may change. As with the version that ran on Fox for 15 seasons, the first few episodes of this reboot will be taped. So we hear the same sad stories of struggle and persistence with a few contestants. These shows will include the auditions, good and bad, Hollywood Week, the top 50 being culled to two dozen and those Top 24 in both solo performances and celebrity duets.
On February 8, the Top 50 contestants sang in front of the judges and a live audience in Los Angeles for a chance to earn a spot in the Top 24. Seems that the “American Idol” Top 24 solo and celebrity duets were filmed on March 2 and March 3 in Los Angeles. The Top 24 were split up into two groups. In season 15, voting didn’t begin until the Top 14, the judges advanced four contestants, and the viewers got to watch performances and vote through the remaining six.
Let’s see if the format will be the same? Alright, I’m not going to say the list of the Top 24. However, the females to watch out for are: Alyssa Raghunandan, Amelia Harris, Catie Turner, Gabby Barrett, Layla Spring and Mara Justine. The males are: Adam Sanders, Brandon Diaz, Garrett Jacobs, Ron Bultongez and Trevor McBane. The celebrity duets will include, Staten Island native Bebe Rexha, Brandon Diaz with Luis Fonsi, Kay Kay Alexis will sing with Pat Monahan, Layla Spring will sing with Sugarland, just to name a few.
“American Idol” is sometimes a career boost for many hopefuls, while others we can’t even remember their names. Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of “American Idol” with approximately 500 million votes cast in the season and 37 million for the finale. The seven-time Grammy-award-winning country artist, despite having no formal singing lessons, is the only country musician to have her first live studio albums hit number one or two on the Billboard 200-and at only 26 years old, in 2008, she became the youngest artist invited to join the Grand Ole Opry!
Rose’s Scoop: It will be interesting to see the ratings for the week of the finale for both “American Idol” and “The Voice.”