Katy Perry is kissing and dissing contestants and Ryan Seacrest is getting less air time on American Idol. Is this how the network is covering up the scandals surrounding its judge and host?
American Idol returns to the screen on pretty shaky grounds, with its leading talents Katy Perry and Ryan Seacrest facing their own share of scandals. American Idol is hoping to pick up from its gold ratings last 2016 but with Perry and Seacrest on board, things can get a little sour on the show, Fox News reports.
American Idol is back on ABC after a 15-year run on Fox and a two-year hiatus. On board the team is the original host, Ryan Seacrest, and a new trio of judges including Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. And the premiere episode of the show’s newest season, which aired March 11, has been rather gentle, compared to the Simon Cowell years, Deadline reports. The trio looks a bit chummier and they’re giving out beautifully woven pieces of advice and comments (“You’re interesting and brilliant beyond your years,” Bryan tells a kooky girl in newsboy cap).
But Katy Perry is trying to stir things up as early as Episode 1, where she kissed a contestant smack dab on the lips. Watch below as Benjamin Glaze tries to sing Nick Jonas’ “Levels” for his American Idol audition, still flushed from getting two kisses from Perry.
And the meanest the trio can do? A simple “You’re not a pop star. It’s not right” from Katy Perry to contestant Koby. But a criticism on that level is just far from Simon Cowell’s meanest “Sounded like Dolly Parton on helium,” and “You look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle,” to the straight on “I thought it was corny verging on desperate, to be honest with you. It was all a little bit rabbit in the headlights.”
All of these feel like a gimmick from American Idol who is trying to drown out the scandals surrounding Perry and Seacrest in the recent weeks.
Perry has long been caught up in a court case with the sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a bid to purchase their property. On March 9, the nuns’ spokesperson, Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, “collapsed and died” during a court appearance related to the case, the Inquisitr previously reported.
The nuns say selling their property to Perry “violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church” and Perry has yet to comment on the death of Sister Holzman.
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest is also facing his own problems, battling accusations of sexual harassment filed by Suzie Hardy, his former stylist for E! News. According to Hardy, she was fired in 2013 after she made complaints of harassment to E!’s human resources department, accusing Seacrest of grinding against her, groping her private parts, and slapping her behind.
Despite the allegations, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey and FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz, told The Hollywood Reporter that they are standing behind Seacrest throughout this issue.
An independent inquiry E! commissioned to investigate the case cleared Seacrest of the allegations and Frot-Coutaz says they stand by the results of the investigation.
“I’ve known Ryan now for almost 16 years. I stand by him. Obviously it’s unfortunate. I’m not privy to the details. He seems to be very robust in his defense. And we’ll see where it all goes.”
But it’s hard to feel how the audience will be responding to American Idol with these controversies surrounding its most-paid talents. With ABC paying a whopping $25 million for Perry’s salary and a large $15 million for Seacrest, it will be impossible to take both talents off the show’s comeback, that’s been two years in the making.
Instead, sources close to the matter reveal to Celebrity Insider that ABC is editing the first two episodes of American Idol to focus less on Seacrest and more on the judges and the other contestants.
However, another source close to production denied that Seacrest is being edited out in the episodes.
American Idol is back on ABC every Sunday, at 8|7c.