Meaghan Hudson On June 11th, 2002 once the new year hit that meant that it was the return of the beloved American classic, American Idol. Who didn’t love circling around a family room television set with family and friends to watch as the Simon Cowell ripped into American citizen’s lack of actual talent?Was it the actual British sarcasm of Simon Cowell, the somewhat backhanded niceness of Paula Abdul, or the chillax attitude of Randy Jackson that hooked all of us into watching? Although American Idol was successful, it was eventually cancelled, but only a couple years went by before it was brought back to life with a whole new panel of judges with brand new attitudes, with the same introductions being lead by Ryan Seacrest, it seems as though that was the only similarity between the prior American Idol and this new version of Idol. The fresh new faces of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie are taking American Idol down a new kinder and more comforting pathway in comparison to the harshness of the show’s earlier seasons.
Giving a quick look back through the history of American Idol, it almost seemed like the Golden Age of the show’s height of popularity was with the panel of judges led by Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. If you were an avid watcher from the beginning like I was, you would know that the show did not originally start out in that way but it did morph into showing Simon Cowell tearing apart dreams of doe-eyed young American citizens. In one episode Cowell was even quoted as saying this to one of the auditionees, “How do you think you did? All right, Mary. Honestly, one of the worst I’ve ever heard in my life. What made you audition for this competition? You can’t sing a note in tune and you have one of the weirdest voices I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Right off the bat in the first new season of the show, which aired last year, the famous judges set a different tone on the show. Gone are the days of being outright mean to the hopeful singers of America.Lionel Richie physically teared up when a young woman,who lost the love of her life and singing partner to a fatal car crash, was singing? No more making fun of innocent teens who just want a chance to showcase what talent they have. Of course, every now and then, they show a contestant lacking in talent for entertainment purposes; however, viewers do not see the judges ripping into them as much or laughing at them. Instead, these scenes typically involve Katy Perry playfully dancing with them or Lionel Richie giving them a word of encouragement while noting their bravery for coming out to audition anyways.
Overall, while we all got a good laugh in the prior American Idol ways with Cowell telling young singers to end their hopes and dreams of ever making it big in Hollywood, this new American Idol shows a breath of fresh air and gives new light to this sunshine-like new American Idol. It is a new era of Idol in which we can watch without cringing at our TV sets at the thought of a contestant leaving the audition room in either e tears or just simply flipping off the camera and giving the judges a big curse word. Afterall, who could ever flip off a legend like Lionel Richie?