American IdolLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 3/21/18 at 11:27PM EDT
Luke Bryan defends Katy Perry in American Idol first-kiss controversy
“It’s unfortunate that stuff like that turns into a story that big,” says the Idol judge of contestant Benjamin Glaze getting kissed by the pop star. “I watched an actual interview where (Glaze) said that he was cool with everything.” The country singer added: “And I gotta back Katy on that. You know she’s in there working hard and making fun TV. And you know what, we’re gonna get right it sometimes and get it wrong sometimes."
Posted Tuesday 3/20/18 at 9:40PM EDT
American Idol's new judges seem to get that they're not judging a singing competition
Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have already rejected some perfectly good singers because they know that the show is about finding the modern pop star, says Meghan O'Keefe. American Idol faltered in its last years on Fox because it was too focused on finding good singers, instead of singers who could actually become pop stars who sell albums -- like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. "American Idol is not — and has never been — a 'singing competition.' Like poker, chess, and CBS’s reality juggernaut Survivor, American Idol is a game of strategy," says O'Keefe. "Sure, the goal is to be crowned America’s next great music star, and to get there, contestants have to survive months of cagematch-like musical battles. You’ll hear judges give lip service to things like pitch and timbre. You’ll even notice the glory of a high note and catch the tragedy of a badly executed key change. But you don’t win American Idol by being the best singer. If that were so, Season 6 vocal standout Melinda Doolittle would be the show’s biggest success story." ALSO: Too many contestants have auditioned with original songs this season.
Posted Monday 3/19/18 at 12:37PM EDT
Katy Perry's Idol flirting is treated as a joke, but is it problematic in the #MeToo era?
Perry ran into some controversy last week for giving contestant Benjamin Glaze his first kiss without permission. But the flirtation didn't stop there. She's been flirtatious with a number of contestants, including an 18-year-old crooner. “Eighteen-year-old girls would eat this up! If a 32-year-old cougar would eat it up," she said. As Emily Yahr notes, Perry may have good intentions, but they seem problematic in this #MeToo era: "Idol producers and the network seem excited to treat Perry’s shtick as a joke. Same with the contestants — but then, do they really have a choice? That gets into the power dynamics issue that the entertainment industry has been forced to confront over the last several months. As a result, it can become more uncomfortable to watch auditions such as the one starring 26-year-old William Casanova: Although he and Perry had an entertaining rapport, he had to retrieve his ticket to Hollywood from between Perry’s toes after she found out that he was a shoe salesman."
Posted Friday 3/16/18 at 10:02PM EDT
Where did American Idol and Katy Perry go wrong in this week's first-kiss hubbub?
"ABC’s decision to treat it as a playful, feel-good moment—and use it to advertise the show—is bafflingly obtuse," says Christina Cauterucci in writing about Idol's "regressive sexual politics" that was revealed by Benjamin Glaze's first-kiss controversy.
Posted Thursday 3/15/18 at 9:38PM EDT
American Idol contestant kissed by Katy Perry has since had his "first kiss in a real way"
Benjamin Glaze entered his first relationship after auditioning for the ABC reality show, and his new girlfriend is totally cool with him having kissed Katy Perry. “He kissed a celebrity — how great for him," says the new girlfriend, Carrie. “It was incredibly special,” adds Glaze. “Katy Perry was my first kiss, but Carrie was my first kiss in a real way. If you really sat me down and asked me, I would tell you about how our first kiss was and it was just as special as I wanted it to be.”
Posted Thursday 3/15/18 at 5:20AM EDT
American Idol contestant clarifies: "I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry"
After The New York Times posted a story Wednesday about the "unwanted kiss" Benjamin Glaze received from Katy Perry, which marked the first kiss of his life, the contestant took to Instagram to clarify that the article made it appear he was more upset than he really was. Even though Glaze told The Times the kiss made him "a tad bit uncomfortable," he writes: "I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honored and thankful to have been apart of American Idol...I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it."
Posted Wednesday 3/14/18 at 1:13PM EDT
American Idol contestant isn't happy Katy Perry gave him his first kiss without his permission
”I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” says 20-year-old Benjamin Glaze, who was 19 when he filmed his Idol audition last October. He tells The New York Times he wanted to save his first kiss "for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special.” Some Twitter users questioned Perry's decision to deliver an unwanted kiss, saying it would be seen differently it was a male judge and a female contestant. Glaze says of the kiss: “Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no. I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.” Still, he said there is an upside to being kissed by Katy Perry. He received more screentime, which he points out has drawn more attention to his music.
Posted Wednesday 3/14/18 at 1:13PM EDT
American Idol "Chicken Little" finalist Kevin Covais made a cameo on the This Is Us season finale
Covais, who competed on Idol in 2006 as a 16-year-old, was shown briefly working the counter at an ice cream shop on last night's Season 2 finale.
Posted Tuesday 3/13/18 at 10:17PM EDT
Katy Perry has already proven she's worth her $25 million American Idol salary
"Katy Perry gives the reboot both the dazzle factor and gravitas it needed to work," says Malcolm Venable. "Katy Perry's animated, exaggerated pop persona make it natural to assume she'd bring her cheeky, squeaky fun to show and she does. But she also brings the realest critiques, and often leading the show's conversation rather than her male counterparts (which was par for course when Simon Cowell judged the og version). Could this be a chicken/egg situation, in which her male co-stars Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan knowingly accept that they're salary inferiors and get in line? Perhaps. But now that the show has aired, Katy is showing why she's worth the top earning slot: she's not only the most relevant pop culture figure on the panel in 2018, she's also the best judge." ALSO: Why Idol can't recapture its former glory.
Posted Tuesday 3/13/18 at 12:23PM EDT
American Idol's second night was no match for The Voice
After premiering Sunday to a strong 10.3 million viewers, Idol fell to 8.4 million on its second night. Meanwhile, the heavyweight singing competition The Voice attracted 11.7 million viewers on Monday. ALSO: Katy Perry accidentally flashed her fellow Idol judges.
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 10:04PM EDT
ABC's "Disneyfied" American Idol reboot is "eerily upbeat"
The Idol revival "packs an Epcot Center’s worth of anti-cynicism," says Spencer Kornhaber. "It is kind and gentle and proficient and fakey: Disneyfied in the classic sense. The opening montage crisscrosses the country with images of regular folks pursuing their dreams, set, naturally, to the sound of Coldplay. In the auditions that unfold, the focus is on the prospective stars who get told yes, with most of the nos relegated to a quick montage at the end of the episode. Even the folks who get the thumbs down are advised not that they are bad, but that this isn’t the right time for them, or maybe not the right show." ALSO: Katy Perry is worth $25 million -- she is carrying the show.
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 2:09PM EDT
American Idol returns to solid ratings, while Fox's O.J. Simpson special tanks
About 10.3 million watched Sunday's two-hour Idol premiere, which is on par with The Voice's debut weeks earlier and bigger than anything ABC aired last week, including The Bachelor finale and Grey's Anatomy. The last Fox season of Idol premiered to nearly 11 million viewers in 2016. Meanwhile, only 4.4 million watched the two-hour O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? Still, Sunday's launch had the lowest demo rating for an American Idol debut, about 20% below the previous low in 2016.
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 6:57AM EDT
O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? brought Fox back to its "tacky, tawdry shock-TV past"
"There wasn’t much there there" in the two-hour special that mostly rehashed everything you probably knew about O.J. Simpson's marriage and murder trial, says Kristen Baldwin. She says O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? was a product of the "tacky, tawdry shock-TV past" that Fox evolved away from many years ago. "But then," Baldwin says, "ABC stole Idol out of their trash heap, and something in Fox snapped. Panicked, angry, and desperate for something to premiere against this unholy Idol, Fox found something taped to the inside of their toilet tank — an emergency stash so old, they may have even forgotten they ever had it in the first place. Yes, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? is the programming equivalent of finding your meth-addict buddy on the floor of his apartment, face-down in a puddle of his own sick." ALSO: Fox tried to make old news relevant by putting it in the context of powerful, famous men abusing women.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
American Idol is pretty much the same on ABC, but a little more sappier and more Disney-fied
Just about everything on Sunday's premiere is like the Fox version, right down to the host, the emotional contestant backstories, the music and the judges, who -- like the old ones -- "are also mostly OK," says Kelly Lawler. She notes that ABC seems to put a greater emphasis on the "American" in American Idol. "The tone is heartwarming; failed contestants are let down as easily as possible and the contestants who make it to Hollywood are all as sweet and diverse and quirky as can be," she adds. "The problem with making Idol a warm and fuzzy show that takes literal trips to Disney World is this: The vitriol is what helped catapult the series to its onetime status as a phenomenon. Idol was, for much of its long run, a show about telling people the truth, even if it hurt."
- Burning questions: Will sexual harassment scandal affect Seacrest? Will The Walking Dead and O.J. Simpson hurt the premiere?
- ABC defends the high costs of its Idol reboot: It's about the same price of an hourlong drama, $3.5 million to $4.5 million
- For Lionel Richie, American Idol is a chance to share his six decades of experience in the music industry
- Kelly Clarkson defined what a reality show winner should be: Nobody has done it better than her
- Kelly Ripa "auditions" for Idol
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
ABC and American Idol producers are standing by Ryan Seacrest
"We stand by the results of the investigation," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says of E!'s third-party investigation into Seacrest for alleged sexual harassment of his former stylist. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Idol producer FremantleMedia, adds: "I've known Ryan now for almost 16 years. I stand by him. Obviously it's unfortunate. I'm not privy to the details. He seems to be very robust in his defense. And we'll see where it all goes."