What to expect from the 'American Idol' premiere

When ABC recruited Perry (for a reported $25 million), it provoked immediate flashbacks of the year when Fox brought in another female megastar - Mariah Carey - to be a judge.

Yes, despite the sexual misconduct allegations against him, Seacrest returns to his role as American Idol host.

Will Ryan Seacrest be on the show?

DEGGANS: That's Carrie Underwood, one of the most successful "Idol" alums. The new judges are forthright and honest with their criticism, and refrain from giving any pretenders false hope. But the show, at its core, works in format and works in premise. "But they are honest judges", says Mills. They will come back to Hollywood and then they'll have to step up. Do you want someone who can just play. bars? You've got three different faces.

The weirdest thing about neo-Idol, if you're in macro frame of mind, is how many contestants have already experimented in elaborate self-branding. Last spring, producers were reportedly trying to woo "Idol" first-season victor Kelly Clarkson to be a judge, but then NBC's "The Voice" offered her so much money that she jumped ship.

Catie Turner told her local ABC station that auditioning for American Idol is "much better than staying at home and doing algebra". "I don't even know if you know that you have the kind of voice that you have". Do we really need this in our lives? Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey were more caught up in their own drama and their juvenile bad blood eclipsed the show's purpose-turning unknowns into stars. Meeting the Idol judges - Katy, Lionel and Luke - made a big impression.

Lionel Richie said his answer is very simple, it's the teaching aspect to share his vast experience.

"I've never been in a relationship", he said. Partly due to the rotating judges. We're artists, and we know exactly how to critique talent. Which is amusing, because I'm betting at least some of those people learned that style from watching the original American Idol. Cute little viral "moments" may inspire short-term chatter, but compelling, magical stories are what make shows like this matter. According to journalist/author Richard Rushfield's the Ankler newsletter, producers panicked and threw $25 million at pop star Katy Perry, as they felt pressure to secure a big-name judge before they presented the show to advertisers at the May upfronts.

Luke Bryan reported it's fun for him. "I thought I was going to be the authority.but, no, no, I am the Kindergarten teacher". I've had the opportunity to do some TV stuff through the years and turned it down because I always focused on touring.

If ABC has set lower expectations, then those can nearly certainly be met - not necessarily aspiring to become the music competition version of "America's Funniest Home Videos", but a franchise that can match or marginally improve upon those waning days on Fox. I'm on the emotional ride with these kids. I guess I got my voice back at the last minute.