When I found out the hit series "American Idol" was being revived, I immediately rolled my eyes. It seemed like the show had been on air for so many years, and I couldn't figure out how to describe the show without resorting to referencing nursery rhymes; the show seemed to be "the little engine that could" in the background of an ever evolving world of popular culture. On the other hand, hearing "American Idol" was going to be revived brought great comfort to me.

Watching the show was an important part of my childhood. My parents and I would gather every week to watch the show together; we made sure to tape the episodes on VHS so we could go back and meticulously review the show in intricate detail; sweet memories of voting using the family landline, and maintaining my beloved blog on the show's website, were close at hand when I watched the latest episode, and could probably cloud my judgement a little.

The judges are still a triple threat

It's incredibly important for me to note I haven't watched a full episode of "American Idol" since 2008. I tried to act like I had grown out of everything having to do with the show; I felt as if I was a full-fledged "grown up" who couldn't afford to listen to popular music, and I was one "dawg" away from throwing out my television. I didn't bat an eye when the judges' line-up was updated in the late 2000's, when Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson left to pursue other avenues, but I quickly grew to miss the legendary line-up.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
TV Shows

The modern-day line-up consisting of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan are confusing on paper, but I was surprised to see how engaging they are with the contestants, and how each judge has a personality. I was hesitant to watch Katy Perry judge due to her public persona of being very judgmental toward her fellow pop stars, but she provided fair criticism to the contestants. I don't know very much about modern country music, but Luke Bryan seems to be connected to the various genres of music, and serves as the consistently positive judge; if I were a contestant, I'd feel instantly comfortable around him.

Of course, Lionel Richie is a veteran of music, who provides the key aspect of seasoned mentor, but has established a friendly rapport with the show, especially with a happy performance of his 1984 hit "Hello" with contestant, Cade Foehner.

Still a high note

Watching the show and getting to know the contestants brought me back to the glory days of "American Idol." I was proud to see the original formula of the show which made it so successful, is still intact.

Guest mentor, country radio personality Bobby Bones, took time and seemed to form a legitimate bond with each of the contestants. For the country music contestants, Bobby FaceTime'd some famous friends to give advice (Kelsea Ballerini and Idol alum Lauren Alaina, respectively). The phone calls brought the sunny and feel-good formula back to the forefront, which made the show so successful. Hearing Bobby interact with each contestant and respond to each individual's specific story, brought chills.

"American Idol" has always been a firm believer in the tried and true method of reaching for the heart, and as much as I like to make fun of this formula, it's feel-good television; in an era of general uncertainty, any material that reminds you of a warm hug is okay in my book.

Finally sitting down to get to know and listen to each contestant was such a throwback and felt like coming home again; Chris Daughtry would be proud.

Catie Turner is an early favorite, recently making headlines for her quirky personality. The redhead bounced along to a cover of Blondie's "Call Me," showcasing her interesting range. Michelle Sussett performed an amazing, fast version of Beyonce's "If I Were A Boy," bringing me traces of similarities to Selena. Dennis Lorenzo and Michael J. Woodward are male standouts; the latter's version of The Beatles' "Golden Slumbers" was my favorite song of the night. Dennis Lorenzo's rendition of Magic's "Rude" was a standout favorite; he is my early pick for an Idol contestant with the chance of having a long career due to excellent stage charisma.

Like any sort of American staple, "American Idol" will always be part of the cultural touchstone of the last twenty years. The show has provided loyal viewers with the comforting formulas of positive relationships between contestants and judges, ample amounts of time devoted to each contestant in order to highlight appealing parts of their personalities, and the feel-good sense of the familiar. No matter how many changes the show tries to make for relevancy in modern times, the show will always work, because TV viewers will never tire of feeling positive and finding any common connection with a contestant. If we see ourselves in these contestant's stories, therefore making it easy to develop a relationship with their performances and song choices, viewers will always vote for what works. Sorry, Brian Dunkleman.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more