“American Idol” is back in the Emmy race after Season 16 premiered on ABC in 2018 following a two-year hiatus. Prior to that, the series spent 15 seasons at Fox where it racked up an astounding 67 Emmy nominations and eight wins. Nine of those noms were for Best Reality-Competition Program where it was defeated every time. Will the ABC reboot of this iconic reality TV series receive the same love from Emmy voters this time around? Below are four reasons why “American Idol” will have a strong resurgence at the Emmys.
1. The brand still has historical impact.
The singing competition became a pop-culture phenomenon when it premiered to television audiences in June 2002, launching the career of its first winner, multi-platinum recording artist Kelly Clarkson. Once Clarkson legitimized the career of a talent contest winner, record executives and music critics alike began to embrace the brand. Since then, “American Idol” alums have collectively received nearly 60 Grammy nominations (14 wins) in genres that include pop, rock, country, R&B, musical theater, Christian and gospel.
Some have even gone on to Emmy-nominated television careers (Kellie Pickler), Tony-nominated Broadway careers (Constantine Maroulis) and Oscar-winning film careers (Jennifer Hudson). Not to mention, host Ryan Seacrest and original judge Simon Cowell have become two of the most recognizable faces on television. No other reality series even comes close to “American Idol’s” ability to create a star. They reminded us of that when Carrie Underwood appeared this season as a guest mentor.
2. Influential judges.
“American Idol” set off a media frenzy in 2017 when it announced multi-platinum recording artist and hit-making machine Katy Perry had signed on to judge the ABC reboot for a reported $25 million. They rounded out the panel with legendary singer/songwriter Lionel Richie and country music superstar Luke Bryan. Putting together this strong panel of judges should be applauded. The trio was a risk that could have bombed, but they had genuine chemistry and provided valuable insight, passion and humor throughout the season.
3. They stayed true to their format.
It could have been tempting to completely reinvent the series and emulate the current successes of other talent shows. But “American Idol” stayed true to its format by getting on a bus and scouring the nation for talent. This allowed them to find diamonds in the rough who may not have otherwise had any shot at appearing on a series of this magnitude. From the farm kids to homeless single parents, everyone had their shot. That is what has always, and still does, make “American Idol” stand out. It’s no easy task for production to hit the road to rally a cast from every corner of the nation, but it makes for great television. This season it led to a singer-songwriter from small-town Iowa, Maddie Poppe, earning her shot at the big time.
4. They continued to make history.
While remaining true to their format, “American Idol” still proved they could make history. On April 29, the first ever “Coast-to-Coast Simul-Vote” took place. Audiences in every time zone across the country were able to view the Top 7 contestants sing live during a Disney theme week. It was something that had never been done on “American Idol” or any other talent competition before. More history was made when Ada Vox became the first drag queen to compete for the title on a major televised singing competition.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.