When the American Idol reboot premieres in March, producers want you to be just as entertained as always — but not at someone else’s expense. That’s why they’ve made the decision to no longer feature “bad” auditions.
“You might have noticed in the past few years, we haven’t really majored on people who are really bad,” showrunner Trish Kinane said at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour on Monday, according to Entertainment Tonight .
She added that the choice to phase out that portion of the show was deliberate, “because one of the key things about the show is it shouldn’t feel manipulated or fake, because 15 years ago, nobody had ever seen it and it was funny. Viewers know now, they’ve all watched all these shows in 15 years, and it doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up and laugh at them.”
However, Kinane wanted to make it clear that the show will still be fun — and funny. “That’s not to say we don’t want humor in Idol. Humor is a very important part of Idol, so if someone’s eccentric, slightly different, or if they’ve got a different voice or if they do something we don’t normally hear, we’ll put that up, that’s fun. We want the humor, but we don’t want the exploitation.”
While fans are surely wondering about what other changes may be coming, host Ryan Seacrest said that they’re staying true to the show’s original premise, and that the biggest difference is the panel of judges — Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.
“It’s different because of these personalities,” Seacrest explained. “The show at its core works in format and works in premise. We go out and we look for young, talented people. They see the judges. They will come back to Hollywood and then they have to step up. There’s been a lot of talk about, ‘How is this show different?’ You’ve got three different faces, you have different contestants, but to change the show drastically would be a mistake.”
That’s why, according to Perry, those who want to take part in the competition will still have to face some criticism. But it won’t necessarily be harsh. “No one’s here to say, ‘I suck.’ We’re here to really find a star, and if someone isn’t a star, delicately help repurpose them on a path that’s going to be right for them.”
The main goal, of course, is to find a new American Idol. “Literally, we are wasting our time if we do not find a star,” Perry said. “America needs another star. They need a real, legit American Idol. It’s a crowded space and I take it really seriously, sometimes to my detriment.”
American Idol premieres on Sunday, March 11, at 8pm ET/PT on ABC.
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(Photo via ABC/Eric Liebowitz + ABC/Image Group LA)