Venezuelan Refugee Living In Sweetwater Wants To Be An "American Idol!"

Luke Bryan Katy Perry and Lionel Richie

Luke Bryan Katy Perry and Lionel Richie

The minute Luke Bryan got the call to become a judge on the updated version of American Idol, he dialed up another good country buddy of his to give him the scoop on how the television world works. After asking why people had encouraged Kobe to come on the new season of American Idol she asked her this biting, existential question: "You don't listen to music like that, right?"

That type of hope goes largely unfulfilled in the premiere. "We're quickly becoming one happy family with the auditions off to a picture-perfect start", Seacrest says early in the first episode, sounding like he's reading from the script of a Disney movie. "I consider myself the instructor basically". She kicks off Sunday's episode speaking over a montage of video images but doesn't actually appear in the episode outside of a clip from her 2005 win. It does not leverage as proof of why "Idol" needed to return. The judges never tell people they suck. None of the judges has qualms about criticizing decent contestants, let alone bad ones. They are not as pointed as they could be in offering criticism, which in turns takes some of the shine off their praise. The classic judges were, of course, Simon Cowell, known for his cutting but entertaining critiques, Paula Abdul, known for her tendency to not always make much sense, and Randy Jackson, known for not really feeling it, dawg. They will come back to Hollywood and then they'll have to step up. Richie, Perry, and Bryan are particularly averse to excessive vocal gymnastics, advising those who belt too loudly or overpower the room with their range that maybe Broadway would be better for them. "For two days a week, Professor Richie is going to talk about the reality of what it takes to be an artist", he said in an interview with The New York Times. They need it badly. Their words should automatically convey authority. That command is lacking at this point in the game.

So it's with mild annoyance that I report that Sunday's two-hour premiere is more fun than I expected, and not just because it's bookended by the auditions of Langhorne's Catie Turner and West Philadelphia's Dennis Lorenzo.

Sussett says she learned English during her first few months here and started working in area restaurants to make ends meet.

You will most likely not, however, experience renewed senses of energy or objective.

What do you think are the American Idol 16 ratings expectations, and do you have any desire at all to watch?

The return of American Idol is major news as it's the original talent search that launched the careers of a number of the industry's biggest names: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood, among others.

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