Simon Cowell will likely forever hold the title of everyone’s favorite “American Idol” judge, admired for his brutal honesty in accessing pop-star wannabes with their unearned bravado and screechy lack of vocal skills. No other judge could ever deliver such scathing put-downs like, “It says here you work as a wedding singer? How many ended in divorce” and “I’m not being rude, you were that bad, honestly. I mean my pen has got more charisma.”
But after Fox canceled the show in 2016, a new day dawned for “Idol” when ABC revived the popular reality show that originally launched in 2018. The tone of the show shifted a bit with a new panel of judges who all were accomplished performers in their own right. Instead focusing on trashing hopefuls, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan act more like advocates for the contestants, giving them advice, allowing them to evolve and becoming involved in their back stories. All three all too well know the rigors of chasing fame and putting themselves out there on the stage while maintaining a high degree of show business success.
But from the beginning on Season 16, Katy stood out the most with her rapport with the contestants. She connected with those with a Christian upbringing who participated in church choirs and sang gospel music like she did as a youngster. She also related to quirky artists like Catie Turner, who sang her own song “21st Century Machine” for her audition and has championed unique artists like last year’s runner-up Alejandro Aranda. Katy also rarely meets a snack that she doesn’t like and willingly acts like a fool sometimes.
The “Roar” songstress is also the judge who most paid homage by having contestants sing her own greatest hits back to her. Sadly, what with the coronavirus quarantine in place, we might not see her on TV for a while as those in charge of “Idol” figure out how to proceed with live shows and the viewer voting process. On April 12 and 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, ABC will air a special two-part event “This is Me” featuring footage focusing on the Top 21 finalists as well as fan favorites like Alabama garbage man Doug Kiker. One presumes any footage of the judges will be minimal as we get to know this fresh crop of singers even better.
Meanwhile, the pregnant judge is anticipating the birth of her first child, a baby girl, this summer with fiance Orlando Bloom and is being safe and secure as the pair perform yoga and go on walks. Let’s celebrate this lady with the video above from her first season on the show where three hopefuls from Season 16 choose to serenade her with her own songs.
Thaddeus Johnson is up first as he chooses to perform Katy’s hit “Rise.” Next is Caitlin Lucia doing “I Kissed a Girl.” Last but not least is Shannon O’Hara delivering “Unconditionally.” All three push Katy’s emotional buttons.