Pop quiz! How many contestants from the final five seasons of Fox’s American Idol can you remember off the top of your head? You probably didn’t need more than the fingers on one hand, did you? That was one of the show’s problems in its later years, and something the new judges on ABC’s reboot intend to fix. So how will Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan go about finding someone truly worthy of the title American Idol?
American Idol begins its new season on its new home, ABC, on Sunday, March 11.
In its final seasons on Fox, American Idol limped to the finish line — its viewership during seasons 13 through 15 was less than 40% of what it had been in the show’s heyday. (Even worse, it failed to produce any memorable winners during that time.) But with the show returning on a new network, ABC, host Ryan Seacrest feels like they’ve addressed the issues that were dragging the show down, and he’s really excited about the enthusiasm the new Idol judges — Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan — are bringing to the new American Idol. (Click on the media bar below to hear Ryan Seacrest)
American Idol returns with a two-hour premiere Sunday, March 11 on ABC.
Trent Harmon is the final winner of American Idol, and for the 25-year-old it’s been quite a run. The powerhouse singer, who’s made ends meet as a waiter in Mississippi, beat out La’Porsha Renae for the crown, and was obviously thankful for the honor.
“(American Idol) is a machine that pumps out superstars,” said Harmon. “I’m just blessed to be able to have that opportunity to maybe go be one. Idol is the real deal. You may not like Idol. You may laugh at it, whatever you want to do, it doesn’t matter. There’s a stage full of people today that can put that (notion) to bed.”
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who described the finale as “overwhelming,” talked about saying goodbye to one of the most high profile jobs on television. “Even though I’ll be busy and I have to go to work in the morning, nothing will ever be like this,” said Seacrest. “This has been the most amazing launching pad for me personally and for so many of us and for that I’ll always be grateful and it’ll never be replaceable.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about what he thought about seconds before his name was announced as the winner of American Idol:
Tonight’s American Idol finale will have a Mississippi feel, as Amory’s Trent Harmon and McComb’s La’Porsha Renae are vying for the AI crown. Though Renae has been favored all season to win it all, Harmon had a standout showing last night thanks to his coronation song “Falling,” a bluesy tune penned by AI judge Keith Urban, Dallas Davidson, and Brett James.
“First of all, I love my friends,” said Harmon. “I love Dalton Rapattoni to death so I was really sad for about three seconds. Then I was like, ‘you know what, this is competition, I’m going to war.’ Not so much against La’Porsha (but) it’s time to get your game face on. I’m a ball player (and) I go in with that mindset of ‘It’s time to go to the mound’ and ‘It’s time to go to work.’
Whether or not he wins the American Idol crown, Trent Harmon aims to continue to stay focused on his career and follow his own voice no matter what the cost. Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about being compared to Kelly Clarkson and life after American Idol:
Check out the American Idol finale tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).
Even though MacKenzie Bourg was eliminated last night on American Idol, he is not going to sulk in the corner and lick his wounds. Instead, he sees this experience as an important part of his music journey, and he’s ready to forge ahead.
“I’m just kind of ready to go to work and get to the real part of what makes the people that get kicked off successful,” said Bourg, who performed the Leonard Cohen track ‘Halleluhjah’ on the show. “A lot of people spend a lot of time just moping on themselves – I don’t have any interest in doing that. I’m just ready to get the ball rolling and get music out.”
Bourg also adds that he had an instinct that he feels “really good” about his entire American Idol experience and he’ll take those lessons to heart. Click on the media bar below to hear MacKenzie Bourg talk about what he’s learned throughout his run on American Idol.
Catch American Idol on Tuesday, April 5 (FOX, 8 pm et/pt).
With Season 13 officially in the books, American Idol is already looking ahead to next season, with the first auditions taking place in Minneapolis just four short weeks from now. With Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. reportedly on board already, and Jennifer Lopez looking likely to return as well, it could be the first time since 2007 that the Idol judging panel remains the same. As far as Urban is concerned, that’s a great thing, because he enjoys not only the chemistry, but also the diversity within the trio. (Click on the media bar to hear Keith Urban) When the auditions start next month, Harry Connick, Jr. told us the judges’ goal will be exactly the same as it was this year. (Click on the media bar below to hear Harry Connick, Jr.)
American Idol will return to FOX for its 14th season early next year.