Almost every year since 2002, millions of families eagerly anticipate Ryan Seacrest’s immortal line: “Who will be the next…American Idol?” Now in its 17th season (with a two-year break), America’s original is back this year! As always, the show will feature brand new contestants, touching and hilarious auditions, and plenty of outrageous moments. Not that that premise is under our belt, let’s take a look at American Idol‘s first episode!
American Idol: History In The Making
If you’re not a massive fan, it can be easy to forget about American Idol. These days, there are tons of reality singing contests, such as The Voice, X-Factor, and The Four. However, Idol became the first American singing competition television show, debuting back in 2002. However, if you really don’t know American Idol, we’ll bring you up to speed!
From the first season until the eighth, the show retained their three original judges: the iconic Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. However, following the eighth season, they began featuring guests judges each season. Past judges also include the likes of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Tyler, among others. Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest continues to host American Idol, having done so since the first season. Over the years, many of the show’s contestants went on to become massive stars. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Lambert all got their start on American Idol.
It’s clear to see, through its history, Idol‘s gone through some pretty big changes. Its also gone through some turmoil, including a cancellation in 2016. However, ABC renewed the show in 2018 with a brand new panel of judges: Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Brian. This panel will continue to be judges this year as well. American Idol season 17 began on March 3, 2019. 8.7 million viewers watched the premiere, a huge number, even for a reality show. In fact, it beat The Voice‘s ratings for that week!
Season 16: The Next Kelly Clarkson?
The first few episodes of American Idol always cover the auditions, which are arguably the best part. The new season kicked off with a bang, with an incredible audition by Myra Tran. Tran is a 19-year-old woman who immigrated from Vietnam. She blew the judges’ minds and captivated everyone hearts, singing “One Night Only” by Jennifer Hudson. The judges gave the young singer a standing ovation – and even compared her to Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of Idol.
Bryan gushed, “You’re up there with the Kelly Clarksons of the world; that’s the only way that I can say it.” Richie went on to say, “There’s nothing we can compare you to. You have stepped into a zone that’s yours, and what I want you to do from now on is rule your zone.”
A Great Premiere
American Idol‘s first episode also included an incredible, moving performance by a once-homeless woman, named Kai. However, the premiere wasn’t all fantastic auditions. As always, some, ahem, less-than-incredible singers also auditioned, including a metal singer who scared Katy Perry. Thankfully, these always provide some comic relief for viewers. And hey, hysterical auditions are just one of the many reasons millions tune in every year.
We’re looking forward to a great season of American Idol. And even though we do love the awful auditions, we still love tuning in for some amazing voices, in hopes of finding another great “American Idol.”