American Idol debuts tonight.
FOX debuts American Idol tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET with a 90-minute episode; the second half of the premiere airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET. The show will continue through Sept. 4, airing two episodes a week, with the audience voting via 900-number after every Wednesday live show for who they want to see continue. The show is the U.S. version of Pop Idol, the UK’s sequel to Popstars which became a huge hit. More than 8.5 million people voted in the UK finals, ultimately selecting Will Young as the winner. Will, who came out shortly after winning, had two number one hits, and his first single became the fastest-selling single in UK history. The US show is hosted by Brian Dunkleman and Ryan Seacrest, and will be judged by Paula Abudl, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell. Simon became well-known for his snipes at the contestants and earned the nickname “Mr. Nasty.” He’s had to hire bodyguards in the US because he’s been at least twice physically threatened by American Idol losers. News and comment about the show:
- “it’s also very much about crushing the delusions of the dozens of also-rans who might have thought they had talent.”
- “The talent we’ve got on this American series far outweighs what we had in the UK”
- “Never before have the American people had such direct ownership of their crap.”
- “Queen Elizabeth II was a fan of the [UK] show.”
- “If Cowell is the villain judge, Abdul serves as the one ‘who’s been mopping up a lot of tears.’”
- “the cringe factor is really high–for the viewer, too.”