Entertainment

‘American Idol’ Premiere Hits Sour Note with Viewers

Flagging ratings, controversial judges are already plaguing the singing competition reboot, which just began airing on ABC

ABC’s “American Idol” reboot went head-to-head with NBC’s “The Voice” this week — and the ensuing ratings bloodbath likely has ABC’s bean counters singing the blues.

But viewership is only one of a growing list of problems.

“Everybody calm down … I thought what Katy Perry did was fun. It was charming; it was very cool. I can’t stand this feigned, phony outrage. People are full of it,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Wednesday night. “Get me out of this PC world.”

“It’s not PC. It’s just gross,” host Laura Ingraham of “The Ingraham Angle” replied, sparring with Hannity during the transition between the “Hannity” and “The Ingraham Angle” shows on Fox News Wednesday night.

They were referring to an uncomfortable incident that occurred during contestant Benjamin Glaze’s audition on “American Idol.” After the 19-year-old singer told judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan that he had never been kissed, Perry asked him to approach the judges’ table.

Perry then playfully tricked Glaze into kissing her briefly on the lips. Glaze told The New York Times on Wednesday that while he’d hoped his first kiss would be special, he “does not feel he was sexually harassed and is grateful to Ms. Perry for tweeting about him.”

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The kissing issue — though it did make for some less-than-flattering headlines — may be the least of the show’s concerns.

“The Voice” crushed “American Idol” with viewership estimates of 11.7 and 8.4 million, respectively, in the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic, Fox News reported.

There was worse news on the ratings front. Between the back-to-back airings of the “Idol” show on ABC both Sunday and Monday night, the show lost more than one in five viewers. The show had aired previously on the Fox network for 15 seasons, starting in 2002 and ending in 2016.

The show had aired previously on the Fox network for 15 seasons, starting in 2002 and ending in 2016.

The social stats from March 12’s @AmericanIdol tweet had all the encouraging pep of a funeral dirge. In the Monday tweet, the second night of the two-episode premiere, the show said to its 2.08 million followers, “The journey continues! #AmericanIdol starts now! Please retweet if you’re watching.”

The kickoff post netted barely a whisper from fans in the form of shares and comments. It was retweeted an embarrassingly paltry 233 times.

Cue the violins.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

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