The ‘American Idol’ Reboot Won’t Air Bad Auditions

"It doesn't feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them," showrunner Trish Kinane says. 

Written by Lauren Laffer
The ‘American Idol’ Reboot Won’t Air Bad Auditions
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie; Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Remember the ‘Pants on the Ground’ guy? Or ‘bikini girl?’ Even William Hung? Well, it seems as if those memorable American Idol auditions are a thing of the past as ABC has no plans to air bad auditions on the reboot.

According to showrunner Trish Kinane, the AI revival will feature the best of the best in talent and will skip over all of the unfortunate performances.

“It doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them,” Kinane told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s (TCA) winter press tour (quote via Billboard). “I think that people once thought that the judges saw everyone, and now you know there’s a line of producers who screen before them. We want the humor, but we don’t want the exploitation.”

The show’s longtime, and returning host, Ryan Seacrest agreed with Kinane, adding that they plan to focus on what made Idol great in its heyday: finding and cultivating superstars.

“What was important to me [about the reboot] was that there were going to be stars on the show that were going to come on to collaborate and take this seriously and give the franchise what it deserves,” he explained. “The legacy of this franchise is important to me and to its fans.”

New judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie echoed the sentiments. The superstar trio admitted they wouldn’t have signed on if they were just going to fool around.

“Literally, we are wasting our time if we are not finding another star,” shared Perry. “I take it very seriously, sometimes to my detriment.”

“That makes us work harder as a judging panel,” added Bryan. “Because there are a few years where you don’t remember those contestants, we don’t want it to go that way. We want it to go right back to what it was known for.”

Though the judging panel is serious on their search for the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, the three seem to be having a great time off-camera. While they each come from diverse backgrounds, both personally and professionally, Perry, Bryan and Richie have clicked together, and even covered a Jackson Five song during a TCA cocktail party.

In a video posted by, the three are seen gathered around a piano with Bryan leading the charge on the hit “I’ll Be There.” Reluctantly, the other two join in, and after a key change, collectively sway along to the tune as the piano player continues on.

Fans can catch the new cast chemistry on the small screen when American Idol begins on Sunday, March 11 on ABC.