Katy Perry Gives 19-Year-Old 'American Idol' Contestant His First Kiss

Katy Perry Gives 19-Year-Old 'American Idol' Contestant His First Kiss

Katy Perry Gives 19-Year-Old 'American Idol' Contestant His First Kiss

For another thing (several million things, in fact), this "American Idol" comes with a sticker-shock price tag attached.

"We really encourage them", she added. Good ol' American Idol! And Kelly Ripa's daytime show also was a "very desirable booking", notes one Fox source.

Tonight marked the premiere of the new season of American Idol on ABC.

If ABC has set lower expectations, then those can nearly certainly be met - not necessarily aspiring to become the music competition version of "America's Funniest Home Videos", but a franchise that can match or marginally improve upon those waning days on Fox.

Bryan turned to none other than Blake Shelton, who got his Hollywood start as a coach on NBC's hit reality competition show, The Voice.

But still, 13 million people tuned in to see someone named Trent Harmon win that 15th season, and that's a pretty good number in our crowded TV landscape.

DEGGANS: That's Carrie Underwood, one of the most successful "Idol" alums.

But all Death Stars come to an end.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey and Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of the show's producer, FremantleMedia, voice support for Seacrest. But can you rebuild the Death Star? There are not many bad auditions in the first episode, but even the worst ones don't necessarily qualify as awful. The viewership not only got smaller, it got older, which became anathema to Fox executives.

Leading that charge is a new judging panel that, at least in the first two hours, is less interested in critique than it is in a rapid education.

The judges agreed and told the aspiring singer that she would have a better time finding success as a Broadway actress in NY and of course, Kobe had some issues with that. Ryan Seacrest is still around despite a swirl of controversy, but the judges box looks decidedly different, with Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan calling the shots.

From the introduction of the new judges to the first audition, by uber-hyper and uber-talented 17-year-old singer-songwriter Catie Turner, the accent unquestionably is on the positive. She's got charm and charisma, and she's not afraid to have some spontaneous fun. "When you see people who are super famous on TV or social media you don't think about what they are like as human beings, I mean, but walking in there was freaky, surreal, amazing, emotional, but super weird at the same time", Sohmer said.

The longtime American Idol host didn't have much of a presence in Sunday's premiere. 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. Host Ryan Seacrest - as closely identified with "Idol" as Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson - has been drawn into the MeToo reckoning. But this brings us to yet another doubt hanging over the show's return.

Seacrest has repeatedly denied the accusation against him, and "Idol" producers have spoken in his defense. But the stain remains: Some stars avoided him on the red carpet before the Oscars and some suspicions remain.

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