ATU Student Advances on American Idol

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After Simon Cowell left the original show, the infamous "bad auditions" - particularly those where awful singers were viciously mocked by the judges - mostly disappeared from the format. The current season of NBC's The Voice, featuring first Idol victor Kelly Clarkson as mentor, drew a 2.8 in 18-49 and 12.3 million viewers (L+SD) in its debut a couple of weeks ago. I ended that article by saying, "This isn't a goodbye - not really".

This is American...wig? If you tuned in to American Idol's return on ABC to see Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan in action, you met 18-year-old Noah Davis and probably learned a new meaning for "wig".

And while that's a fraction of the audience "Idol" regularly served up back in its mid-aughts heyday, the TV turnout marked a significant upgrade for ABC's Sunday 8-10 p.m. lineup, which season-to-date is averaging just 4.5 million viewers and a 1.0 in the demo. "I don't want the outside world to mess with your lovely brain", Bryan urged 17-year-old Catie Turner, a songwriter who admitted people often view her as too "intense". "Trevor, he's hot, he does construction on the side, and he loves his mom", Katy said, explaining why he was such a catch. It's no secret millions tuned in to the original series to see what type of comedic entertainment in the form of a Hollywood hopeful would grace the judges with an unforgettable moment. Katy Perry put her signature on Harper's "dream board", annotating that her "American Idol" audition had been realized with gold. While the judges originally decided Bultongez didn't have an artistic identity after he sang James Bay's "Let It Go", Richie felt guilty and wound up changing his vote to "yes". Before she splits, Koby deems the judges to be "dumbasses" and quips, "I think Katy is just a little jealous". (I was thinking more along the lines of a less-polished Lisa Loeb, but sure - tomato/to-mah-to, Lionel.) And away she goes with a trio of yeses. It's crafted perfectly for this genre.

Less tragic backstories also had glorious endings. With everything he's been through, he can use that pain to tell a story in his performances. Naturally, this gets "I Kissed A Girl" singer Katy to sneakily plant one on the flabbergasted singer.

Quiz: Which American Idol Winner Are You? . "I know it wasn't an overnight success for me; it's not going to be for them", she said. It's possible they said no to hundreds of singers, but in two hours, we saw were exactly four "No's" - and Lionel turned into a hugging machine. She has such a mature and developed voice.

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Katy is later near tears after high school sophomore Alyssa Rhagu sings Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes' duet "Almost Is Never Enough" during her Orlando audition. They really strive to help you be successful, and I really like that about our teachers. It's all good for the brand.

Layla, a 16-year-old high school student from Marion County, KY, performed "Who's Lovin' You" by the Jackson Five.

"What an incredibly attractive woman you've grown into".

But when he belted out "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, the judges were amazed by the depth of his sound and the richness in his voice. Hit us up onTwitter,Facebook, orInstagram - or leave your comments below.

About two years after "American Idol" aired its "farewell season"...well, it's back.