American Idol is here for season 17! The show arrived Sunday, March 3 and fans were more than happy to finally choose a contestant as their favorite. Months before the show were filled with all sorts of spoilers, especially with the speculations related to the contestants and special guests.
Only a few days before the show started, some contestants were spotted by people watching the Oscars’ special by Ryan Seacrest that brought minor spoilers to the viewers. During the Oscars’ hype, some of the contestants popped up in the video where they performed Queens “Don’t Stop Me Now.” If you cried after watching it, have in mind that it’s perfectly normal behavior. Some fans were able to identify some of the singers, with one noted as Nick Rogers while others speculated on one of them being Walker Burroughs.
Speaking of teasers and spoilers that aired before the show, Billboard revealed another special on the same day as the premiere. Adrienne Pabst form iHeartMedia said that they “can’t wait to help ABC celebrate its return with a week of amazing content across iHeartMedia’s extensive network of media platforms.” The special also brought some exclusive content and even more information about the show!
Despite the speculations regarding the contestants, everyone knew the names of the judges all along. Returning from last season are Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. Another familiar name is Ryan Seacrest, who has been hosting the show for years now. Radio personality Bobby Bones, host of The Bobby Bones Show in Nashville, is also returning to the show in full capacity. For those who might not remember, Bobby previously served as a guest mentor for the top 24 contestants. This time, Bones’ official title for season 17 is “in-house mentor”!
And speaking of the top 24, this season will also have celebrity duets; in February 2019, the show announced that the following names would participate in celebrity duets with the top 24: Jason Mraz, Julia Michaels, Brett Young, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Cynthia Erivo, Lukas Graham, Ben Harper, Elle King, Chris Isaak, lovelytheband, and Shaggy.
As a reminder, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan started the season 17 auditions last summer in Orlando and San Diego. Ryan Seacrest was with his American Idol crew as always and they even stopped in Hawaii along the way. We were able to follow them every day thanks to the American Idol Instagram; for example, the fans were able to see cute photos of Katy Perry looking lovely in Mickey Mouse surfer print!
Also, Cameron Lenz, Natalee Sprioff, and Mehgan Woods were given a chance to audition during the 2018 CMA Awards telecast in November. After the auditions (which were held at Luke Bryan’s restaurant, LUKE’3 32 BRIDGE Food + Drink, in Nashville, the viewers decided who was going straight to Hollywood. Meghan Woods was the winner, and her name was revealed on Good Morning America by the winner of the season 16, Maddie Poppe.
Ryan Seacrest and American Idol Judges Share Their Thoughts on Contestants
Now that American Idol is back for a brand new season, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie revealed that this year’s pool of contestants “really showed up.” They also noted that the singing competition is “not always about the person who wins,” which might be contrary to popular belief.
Katy mentioned that even past runner-ups have gone on to do amazing things and they are still successful. “It is called ‘American Idol’ not ‘American Idols’ and some of these kids that have made it to the top, they all deserve that spot,” Perry said and added, “History says maybe it’s not about the person that wins.”
Richie also had a few words about the show, “I tell people every day you got to be very aware of the fact that No. 1 means you have to be famous now. Being a runner up means you’ve studied the course and can figure it out and you can go home and have time to work on it.” Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert are the perfect examples of past runner-ups who made it to the top. “They’re going somewhere,” Perry said of the two artists who performed at the 91st Academy Awards.
Ryan Seacrest, the media mogul and the longtime host of American Idol also shared his thoughts about the show and its past contestants. Seacrest said he had flashbacks when he saw Lambert and Hudson while hosting the Oscars red carpet.
“When I saw Adam and talked to him beforehand he was so excited to be opening up the show,” Seacrest was honest. “When you watch the single shot of Adam singing with Queen, it was like I was watching an episode of American Idol.”
Ryan was emotional while talking about Hudson, “Jennifer Hudson was at the finale there in the Dolby Theatre too and said to me when she walks down the red carpet she remembers vividly those moments of being on the show.”
Over 16 seasons on American Idol, Ryan Seacrest has seen a lot of impressive singers. However, it’s the shows credibility that has brought out the “amazing talent” season after season, he revealed. “One reason I love hosting the show is the credibility the show has,” Seacrest said. “Not only are these contestants coming up to be on a TV show that’s popular, they’re actually going to do something in the world of music.”
Finally, Luke Bryan said some of the best talents this season are contestants who took the judges’ criticism to heart. “That’s the best way to compliment the show and us and what we’re trying to do,” Bryan said. “We’ve had a couple of kids come back and they took our criticisms and what’s really rewarding is they see it too.” Luke continued, “That’s the beauty, I feel like we try to grow every day as artists, judges, songwriters. To watch these kids in their infancy growing in front of our eyes is so inspiring.”
Instantly Noticed Talents
As always, there are a few contestants who draw attention at the very beginning. One of them is Ethan Fingold, a Buffalo performer, whose stage name is VoKillz. Ethan is one of those talents who has the potential to be talked about, even if he doesn’t make it to the finals.
Fingold was initially seen in the first few minutes of the program when he told someone he is a “Mystic Death creature vocalist,” which led to a funny look from a young woman who overheard him. Ethan started his audition by wearing a mask and eventually got Katy Perry to hide under the Idol desk while performing an original song from what he described a music genre called MysticDeath Trap Metal. His performance was a comedy relief that was more than needed after a stream of great singers who were praised for their talents by the entire American Idol crew.
Besides Buffalo, Pennsylvania also has a strong contestant of their own. Jake Puliti is one of the singers who performed in front of the American Idol’s celebrity judging panel. But Puliti isn’t the only contestant from Pennsylvania that will appear on this season of the show. Nate Walker from Pittsburg has also been featured on several ads for the show. Also, Walker is friends with last year’s American Idol finalist, Gabby Barrett.
And if we go down the memory lane, we will find four Pennsylvanians who made the top ten last year! Dennis Lorenzo from West Philadelphia, Michael J. Woodard from East Falls in Philadelphia, Catie Turner from Langhorne and, of course, Barrett from Pittsburgh. Barrett made it all the way to the finale.
But that’s not all! A Livingston woman will represent Southeast Texas; Laci Kaye Booth appeared on the first episode of the show, with the first episode featuring her audition process in Denver. Booth began to play guitar when she was 9 years old and has played ever since. She began performing in church and at local events, along with her father who is a country musician. Laci’s voice has been described as “smoky and smooth,” and she admits her unique sound is influenced by multiple genres. “I want to inspire others with my story and share with the world how much music has blessed me,” Booth said.
American Idol Premiere Recap
After so many specials, spoilers and announcements, it’s finally time to recap the first episode of the returning American Idol show! On Sunday, March 3, season 17, episode 1 Premiere called Auditions aired. In this highly anticipated episode, viewers were able to see the show’s judge auditions in Louisville, Kentucky; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; and Denver, Colorado, where aspiring talents showed what they’re made of.
Judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan were ready, and so was the returning host, Ryan Seacrest. The first contestant was Walker Burrows from Birmingham, Alabama, singing Love Like This by Ben Rector.
Katy Perry was the first one to comment on his performance, “That is so natural, and cool and effortless and dope. You have this like, Ben Folds, Billy Joel thing. I think you are top ten material.” Luke shared his thoughts as well, “I think there are going to be some people at home just being captivated by you. You remind me of how untalented I am. Can you do a Lionel Ritchie song?”
The second contestant was a lady, and she comes from Las Vegas, Nevada. Johanna Jones was singing I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith. Once again, judges were happy. “I’m scared for you. The job you have worked so hard for, you will have to quit,” Perry said. Richie seemed satisfied too, “We in the business call the package, your control, your ability to sell it to us, it was mesmerizing. You got the touch.” Finally, Bryan shared his thoughts on Johanna’s singing, “It’s good, we loved it. Big time opportunity here, you are an all American girl, flipping burgers.”
Then there was Kai the Singer from South Carolina. Kai was singing Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, and also My Girl on the piano. “You just got a beautiful soul. When you got on the piano, you just sort of involved right in front of our eyes and I love that you changed the lyrics, it made me tear up, it was so authentic. I relate to what you are and I am happy you are here,” Katy was emotional. But she wasn’t the only one; Lionel Richie also had tears in his eyes, “You got me crying, you got everyone crying. You are here for a reason and a purpose, God can only do for you, what he can do through you.”
Tyler Mitchel, from Louisiana, was singing Whenever You Come Around by Vince Gill. “What a special moment. Have you performed much?” Perry asked Tyler. “You could sing giberage and it would be great. Literally, a star is born.”
Margie Mays sang Shot by Lawrence and she won Katy Perry’s heart as well. “You are literally a star. You can be exactly who you are, just focus on winning with your voice and let your heart shine through. When you are not singing, just be yourself. You go from totally insane, to totally pro,” the famous pop singer said.
Myra Tran is from Vietnam and she was singing One Night Only from Dreamgirls by Jennifer Hudson. Luke Bryan loved her performance, “You are up there with the Kelly Clarksons of the world, that is the only way I can say it.” But he wasn’t the only one as Katy Perry was amazed by her singing too, “I loved it. You just need to keep singing, because if you do, you are really going to connect with people. I have never heard of a Vietnamese singer that is as good as you.”
Uche grew up in the church and he wants to reach out to LGBTQ kids. He was singing Ain’t No Man by Christina Aguilera. Unfortunately, the judges weren’t too happy with this contestant, but he’s still going through. “My vote is no because I don’t know what your voice is going to be like,” Richie said but then changed his vote to a yes based on who inspires Uche.
Tiffanne LeMay was singing The Best Part by h.e.r. and Daniel Caesar. “I love your sunny disposition, I think you have a really good voice, you just need to sing to win,” Perry said. Richie also loved her performance, “I knew there was something about you when you first walked in. I love your style, I think your voice is your style and I am loving it.”
Nick is another contestant who made it through. He is from Nebraska but lives in LA. Nick was singing Let it Go by James Bay. “I applaud you, I am very proud of you. There is wonderful quality in a voice, you have it,” Lionel said. Katy shared her thoughts too, “You have power and level in your voice, you started small, you’ve got that beauty, don’t be afraid of it.”
Ryan Seacrest Nominated at Kids’ Choice Awards 2019
This year, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards ceremony will take place Saturday, March 23 and Ryan Seacrest is one of the nominees for the Favorite TV Host Award!
DJ Khaled will be the show’s host and he will report live from the Galen Center in Los Angeles. This announcement was made via a livestream by Double Dare host Liza Koshy on the Nickelodeon YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. DJ Khaled will definitely share music and his catchphrases along with the latest looks at the popular movies, music, gaming and fresh talent. While celebrating the new, the evening will celebrate the past year’s pop culture picks.
The night’s festivities will be presented on all of Nickelodeon’s channels and platforms, allowing all kids the chance to join in. Among the leading nominations are movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, musical artist Cardi B and animated film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. This year, there are many first-time nominees, including Jason Momoa, Emilia Clarke, James Corden, Noah Centineo, Bebe Rexha, Tyra Banks and Riverdale.
Also, there are five new categories this year: Favorite TV Host, Favorite TV Judges, Favorite Superhero, Favorite Gamer and the special How Do You Want to Help? category that lets kids decide how they want to help the world.
Besides Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Liza Koshy & Marc Summers, Nick Cannon & JoJo Siwa, and Tyra Banks are also nominated for the Favorite TV Host award. You can vote for the categories on the Kids’ Choice Awards official website www.KCA2019.com and on the Screens Up app. Kids around the world can vote on the Nick Play app in regions where it is available, as well as on Twitter and Instagram.