American Idol will take a page from The Voice’s songbook when it returns for a second life on ABC. At the Television Critics Association Press Winter Press Tour panel for the upcoming American Idol revival, executive producer Trish Kinane made it clear that the new crop of judges won’t be mocking the untalented—and sometimes “unstable”—contestants who regularly turn up for the televised audition process. Kinane noted that viewers are wise enough to know that the notoriously “bad” auditions were previously let through by producers.
“I think that people once thought that the judges saw everyone, and now you know there’s a line of producers who screen before them,” The American Idol showrunner said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“It doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them.”
Still, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some “eccentric” personalities who make it in front of the A-list judges’ panel in the early audition rounds of the Idol reboot.
“We want the humor, but we don’t want the exploitation,” Kinane explained.
With a high-profile judging team that includes Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, the American Idol revival will cut to the chase in the race to find TV’s newest musical superstar.
“Literally, we are wasting our time if we are not finding another star,” American Idol judge Katy Perry told TCA reporters. “I take it very seriously, sometimes to my detriment.”
Longtime American Idol fans know that after 10 successful seasons on Fox, the long-running musical reality show faced fierce competition when The Voice swooped onto the scene in 2011 and stole some of its thunder. The Voice famously skipped the “bad” auditions and went right to the good stuff, which could be part of the reason why Idol’s ABC reboot is following suit.
In addition, after losing the reboot rights for American Idol, Fox promptly moved forward with the launch of a rival singing competition based on the Israeli singing series The Final Four. Unlike American Idol, which kicks off with several weeks of audition episodes, the Israeli signing franchise skips the so-called “lousy auditions” stage and moves straight to the four finalists in the first episode. The Final Four’s tagline makes its intention clear with, “We start with the best and only get better,” according to Deadline. The U.S. version of the show titled The Four: Battle for Stardom premiered earlier this month on Fox.
Now, it sounds like the American Idol revival will start off with more of the best, too.
The American Idol reboot kicks off with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.