"American Idol" season 16 premiered Sunday night, kicking off the ABC era of the singing competition and introducing new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to TV audiences. Did the new season live up to the hype? Who stood out among the contestants in the first episode of New York auditions? Here are the highlights from Sunday's "American Idol" premiere:
There's always someone on every singing competition who falls over the judges, and in the "Idol" premiere that someone was Benjamin Glaze. Not only did the would-be pop star audition in front of Katy Perry, but he planted a smooch on her, too! You can watch the surprising moment by playing the video above. That may be cute, but Benjamin's real task will be getting America to fall in love with him, if he makes it through Hollywood Week. There are a lot of pop artists on these shows, and "Idol" has turned out its fair share of pop singer-songwriters, so how will he stand out? And while he surprised Perry, this is still not quite as surprising as that marriage proposal from "The Voice."
The strangest audition from the "Idol" opener came from a woman named Koby, whose 'day job' was as a stage actress. She came into the room with an original song of her own, which is practically unheard of in singing competitions. By nature, shows like "Idol" depend on covers, so Koby earned points for bringing one of her own songs. But any goodwill she got from that will probably be erased and then some by how she reacted when Perry, Richie and Bryan turned her down. She unleashed an angry spiel that included her having to be bleeped by the "Idol" censors and insulting the judges. That's not the way any singer wants to look on national TV.
Keep your ears open for Noah Davis. The young man made a stunning impression on Monday with his impressive cover of "Stay" that included some great piano playing and had all the coaches out of their seats. There's always at least one artist in every show who blows everyone's minds with their unexpected talent, and for "American Idol" season 14, that one is Noah Davis. He was the best auditioner of the night and a feel-good story on top of that, and he could go far. Now if "Idol" can find more singers just like him, it could become a hit with TV fans and music fans alike all over again.
"American Idol" airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Fans can get tickets to see judge Katy Perry live on her 2018 tour now through AXS by using the links below:
June 10 - Stockholm, Sweden - Ericsson Globe/Stockholm Live (Click here for tickets)
June 14 - London, England - The O2 (Click here for tickets)
June 15 - London, England - The O2 (Click here for tickets)
June 18 - Birmingham, England - Arena Birmingham (Click here for tickets)
June 19 - Sheffield, England - FlyDSA Arena (Click here for tickets)
June 21 - Liverpool, England - Echo Arena Liverpool (Click here for tickets)
June 22 - Manchester, England - Manchester Arena (Click here for tickets)
June 24 - Glasgow, Scotland - The SSE Hydro (Click here for tickets)
June 25 - Newcastle upon Tyne, Scotland - Metro Radio Arena (Click here for tickets)