In Its 20th Season, ‘American Idol’ Has The Ticket For Success

AMERICAN IDOL - ABCÕs ÒAmerican IdolÓ stars Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan. (ABC/Gavin Bond)

The original star-making singing competition is back for a very special season with a very special new ticket that all contestants will have their hopes set on. The judging panels is full of music industry legends, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry,  and Lionel Richie, who will return to screens today with host Ryan Seacrest. American Idol has made more stars than any other series, from Carrie Underwood to  Jennifer Hudson, Gabby Barrett, and so many more.

The 20th season introduces a new twist – the platinum ticket. It gives contestants the ability to go to Hollywood Week. A fast pass to success, of sorts. But, as Katy Perry made clear, when it comes to making your way in the industry. “You can’t skip  the steps.”

“It’s never been an overnight success. And we are  even seeing that to be true in Season 1 and 2 contestants and 3  contestants that are out there and they are just getting their breaks and making better and better music and music videos and  touring with the seasons that we’ve been able to be a part of. So, I just think it really reminds us and humbles us -and gives me so much gratitude and empathy for  those struggling artists and all of the different personal stuff that they are going through while they are trying to make it.” Perry continued.

Many wonder what accounts for the longevity of the series. Host and Grammy-winner Lionel Richie believes it is because the series is a slice of America itself. “You know what I love about what “American Idol” does is we’re the microcosm of the way the world should be. I mean the judges and Ryan — we represent America and the music business and we come from very different walks of  life. But at the same time, we can come together and celebrate  one thing, each other.  

Richie continued, “When  you come to “American Idol,” it’s the “American Idol” family.  There’s nothing else to be said. So, what we try to show  America is who we are as a United States of America. And I  think the problem — the problem that most people get is they  try to look at their little sections of life, but when you come  to “American Idol,” you will see the United States of America  that we portray so brilliantly. “

The series has always thrived on telling human stories. This season will be no exception. Host Ryan Seacrest discussed his feelings about paths of the contestants last month during the TCA Virtual Press Conferences. “To look back at all of those moments and see some of those contestants when they first met us on the road and see the time that’s gone by and the success that they have had is impactful. It’s pretty incredible. I got emotional watching  some of those great moments, and I think back to the beginning  of this show. It’s been navigated to become a very heartfelt, human, and  artist-driven show.”

When it comes down to it, more than the music, Platinum tickets, the host or the judges, the American Idol secret weapon is connecting the fans to the artists. “What people don’t realize, fans love the music of  the artist, but they love the story of the artist too,’ said judge Luke Bryan. “When you find out this person can sing, not only can they sing, they’ve navigated so many challenges of life.  And when “Idol” tells those stories so beautifully,  it makes the fans gravitate to that person even more, which sets  them up to go on and be a superstar because that person is so  relatable right off the bat.”

Music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, along with host Ryan Seacrest, return to help discover America’s next singing sensation for American Idol’s fifth season on ABC and 20th season overall on SUNDAY, FEB. 27 on ABC.


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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