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What to expect from the 'American Idol' premiere

12 March 2018

ABC's "American Idol" Season 16 judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan are pictured with host Ryan Seacrest.

Frot-Coutaz adds that Idol on ABC is not more costly than other broad competition shows, and sources say it's not setting ABC back any more than a typical hourlong drama (those come in between $3.5 million and $4.5 million these days).

Play along with the live show in real time during the broadcast.

There are other odd pronouncements, such as when Seacrest arrives on set, just a year and a few months after the Fox show ended, and declares, "I've waited a lifetime for this".

The judges couldn't have been more in love, setting the stage for another 90 minutes of consistently good auditions.

The first Idol certainly put a lot of emphasis on the joyful dreams-coming-true aspect of its contest, but it's clear right away that Idol 2.0 will make that an even higher priority. Simon Cowell became an overnight sensation in America simply because he wasn't nice to contestants!

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After tonight's premiere, it's unclear if the show will produce another Carrie Underwood, but rest assured that's the ultimate goal. In this first episode, we meet potential contestants from New York, Savannah, Los Angeles and New Orleans. She's got charm and charisma, and she's not afraid to have some spontaneous fun. But what helped kick this new season of American Idol into gear was remembering just how brutal and vicious this show can be.

The new version begins as a scandal has broken around Seacrest, accused by a former stylist of sexual harassment. Facing intense competition - including from NBC's The Voice - the show had plummeted almost 70 percent in the ratings during the four seasons before a somewhat rejuvenated final season. Can Seacrest shake those before this "Idol" returns, or will they follow him like the ghost of a scarlet letter? He may deny the allegations, but that did not stop the E! red carpet show before the Oscars last week from feeling comfortable. I stand by him.

"I just want you to understand: You're going into the fire", Lionel Richie says to someone who doesn't quite seem ready but they send along to Hollywood anyway.

Noah Davis of Royal, Arkansas meets the judges before his audition on "American Idol" on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Variety's Oscar coverage said, "Seacrest was passed over by A-listers and Time's Up activists, left to interview personal friends, older actors and fellow Disney-ABC employees".

Venezuelan refugee Michelle Sussett wants to be an American Idol! Eyes will be on the ratings.

The groundbreaking reality TV singing competition debuted in 2002 and had enjoyed a fantastic run for a decade, ruling as the biggest shows on television.

What to expect from the 'American Idol' premiere