By Foster Nicholas | Reporter
“American Idol” is finally back for its platinum season 20 with brand new twists, shocks and surprises that are intended to excite fans.
This year marks the 20th season of “American Idol” and the fifth season with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, along with host Ryan Seacrest. On Sunday, the premier episode aired on ABC and Hulu with several surprises. The biggest twist introduced was a brand new ticket, the Platinum Ticket.
“There are only three of these for the entire season, and if the judges vote unanimously for you to get this, you will bypass the first round of Hollywood week,” Seacrest said.
While the platinum ticket was a huge twist, it wasn’t the biggest surprise in the premiere episode. Arguably the most talented lineup of contestants ever auditioned and blew the judges away. However, one contestant who didn’t get a pass to Hollywood was none other than Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter.
“I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that she was famous worldwide because to me, she was always grandma,” 15-year-old contestant Grace Franklin said.
Ultimately Franklin didn’t receive a golden ticket, but it’s safe to say this isn’t the last time Grace Franklin will be on a national stage.
Looking forward, fans can expect several contestants with original songs. After a somewhat underwhelming season 19, a brand new emphasis has been placed on originality and speaking from experience. While the show has fallen under scrutiny in the past for being a show that puts sob stories over vocals, the judges have set the bar high, and it appears it will stay that way for the rest of the season.
“There’s just so much talent,” Richie said.
Episode two releases Saturday and will be available to watch on ABC, YouTube TV or Hulu the day after the show airs. With a season filled with talent and surprises, this is a year you don’t want to miss.