American Idol 2.0

American Idol is back and I think it’s better than ever. When this show was canceled back in 2016 on FOX, I was completely devastated. I had watched Idol ever since I was a child; sneaking downstairs and pretending to use the bathroom just to get a few seconds of screen time in. I can recall the excitement and nerves I felt watching the contestants go into the audition room, and the anxiety week by week as they narrowed down the picks. I had always dreamed of maybe one day going to one of the auditions, just to see what it had to offer. So, understandably, I was disheartened and sad when FOX announced it’s cancellation. It was the end of an era, also, ironically, coinciding with my high school graduation.

 

The announcement of a reboot was not unexpected, but it was met with some speculation. Now American Idol would switch networks and air on ABC, along with an entirely new panel of judges. Same old Ryan Seacrest though! I was curious, but also felt strange about the show starting anew. The previous seasons had been so good; how could this reboot possibly amount to anything major? But I have never been so wrong. I now tune into American Idol every Sunday and Monday at 8, with the same wide-eyed anticipation I had when I was just a kid. Okay, Lionel Luke, and Katy will never be as good as Simon, Paula, and Randy. They were iconic, and will go down in American Idol history with Paula and her positivity counteracting Simon’s ruthless personality. This doesn’t mean that the show can’t be great on it’s own, using the singers alone. Talent doesn’t lie, and there is a whole pile of talent in this year’s Top 24. Some of my personal favorites include Catie Turner, an 18 year old quirky powerhouse with a big voice and a personality to match. Her original songs are incredible, but what really steals the show is her relatable attitude and positivity.  Another showstopper is Michael Woodard, who is just chock full of untapped talent. His rendition of “Maybe This Time” gave me chills, and left the judges speechless and on their feet. Others include country singer Trevor McBane and single father Dennis Lorenzo.

 

With all of these amazing singers, American Idol has quickly earned back it’s place in my must-watch list. I am able to tune in live, and watch along with my family even though they are hours away. It’s a family bonding experience that not even college can take from me. Idol has always been a source of comfort because of nostalgia, and this reboot has only amplified my emotions toward the show. I love the dynamic between the judges, and I especially love that what we see is not all of the negative, but instead on the friendships and relationships that form as this journey unfolds for the contestants. It is a reprieve from my busy schedule, and I find myself looking forward to the episodes more and more as the week passes along. I went into the reboot expecting subpar at best, but I found it to be a fond testament to the old, while moving to the future to incorporate the new. One thing will never change, though, and that is the talent across our nation and around the world. That, and Ryan Seacrest!