“American Idol” returned on March 11 with the same host (Ryan Seacrest) and format but on a new network (ABC), day (Sunday) and with new hosts: pop princess Katy Perry, country superstar Luke Bryan and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Lionel Richie. What did you think of this dynamic trio after the first episode? How did they rate? Vote in our poll below and be sure to sound off in the comments section.
Perry is reportedly being paid a whopping $20 million. Is she worth this much coin? Her debut saw her cast shade on several contestants but she is a far shade from the king of mean, Simon Cowell. Her criticisms are usually sugar-coated in kindness but she does speak her mind on occasion, telling one would-be singer that those who sing her praises are not being truthful.
Bryan is the good old country boy determined to be everyone’s best friend. “Idol” first tapped the country music scene for a judge with Keith Urban, who was part of the panel on the last four seasons o of the show on FOX. As with that Aussie import, Bryan is folksy and full of charm. Even when he says no to someone, they leave with a smile plastered on their face.
Richie is the elder statesman of the group, with a musical pedigree that dates back to the 1960s and his fronting of the soul group the Commodores. Striking out on his own as a solo artist in the 1980s, he enjoyed a string of hits and won five Grammys. In 1985, he penned the charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson as well as the Oscar-winning “Say You, Say Me” for “White Nights.” He tells it like it is, warning some contestants that they are not ready for the spotlight while praising others as potential stars in the making. However, he is susceptible to a sob story. We saw him change his mind in the first episode, sending someone to Hollywood after saying no initially.