Mistakes the American Idol Revival at ABC Has to Avoid

Don't find judges who hate each other! Don't limit a contestant's originality! Don't bring back those Ford commercials! More mistakes for Idol to avoid on ABC

By Tierney Bricker May 09, 2017 4:06 PMTags

It's official: American Idol is coming back.

Yes, even though it ended its 15-season run in 2016, ABC has already revived the reality hit, making the announcement on Good Morning America on Tuesday. 

"American Idol on ABC...that has a nice ring to it," Ben Sherwood, ABC president, said in a statement. "Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC's lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever Idol."

While we'll have to wait even longer than a commercial break to find out who the host will be and the new line-up of judges, we already have a lot of thoughts on what we DON'T want to see from the American Idol revival. ABC, feel free to take notes:

Ranking Every American Idol Winner
Michael Becker / FOX

Don't find a judging panel that doesn't get along: Listen, a little light Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul banter is TV gold, but having judges who clearly do not like each other—cough, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, cough—is fun for no one, especially the viewers.

Don't let the judges outshine the contestants: Quick, name a winner from The X Factor. Betcha can't? Now name a winner of American Idol. Easier, right? When it comes to reality TV competitions, no one has had more stars than Idol. Toward the end, the constant "Who will be the judges?" narrative dominated headlines, something we hope to avoid after the new panel is announced.

Don't stifle a contestant's originality: While Idol loosened up a bit at the end of its run on Fox, we hope the revival really encourages its contestants to take risks, perform original material and truly be themselves, a la The Voice's contestants. (We are still not over the treatment of Haley Reinhart in season 10. Never forget.)

Don't use too many corny theme weeks: Sigh, the theme weeks. While it's nice to see contestants push themselves by tackling different genres and sounds, no one needs a disco night. NO ONE. Let's get a little more creative this time, please. Also, don't limit the song library! It's worth the money. 

Don't bring back those Ford commercials: Shudder. We still have nightmares. 

American Idol Officially Returning on ABC for 2017-2018 Season

Don't overdo the cross-promotion: ABC has A LOT of access to major talent. Not only do they have The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars, but they have Disney AND Marvel ties, too. Let's use sparingly and to great effect when it makes sense, because no one wants to see Kylo Ren awkwardly swaying to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in the audience.

Don't limit our access: Remember when viewers used to get to see where the contestants lived and spend some time with them in their house? Bring that back...and maybe  show even more if it.

Don't hire two hosts: Ryan Seacrest or bust. (Unless he brings Kelly Ripa, then we'll allow two hosts. Sorry, Dunkleman.) 

Don't rely on the bad auditions: We know Idol is always going to start with some cringeworthy auditions, we know. But can we limit those to just a few, and then move on? The Internet is running out of 15-minutes of fame cards for every viral sensation to hand one over to the next William Hung.

Don't entirely revamp the format: It worked for a reason. Some renovations are surely needed, but let's not completely change the show and lose the magic that made Idol the massive national phenomenon it was.

American Idol's judging panel and host will be announced at a later date, with the series set to return during the 2017-18 season on ABC.