'American Idol' Returns For a New Life on ABC

Opening with a dramatic montage about music's impact narrated by Carrie Underwood, American Idol returned for its new life on ABC. Idol ended its 15-season tenure on Fox in 2016. For the ABC revival, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan were tapped as judges. With Ryan Seacrest back as host, the new American Idol looked a lot like the old. Seacrest recently faced sexual harassment allegations, and the Idol producers have stood behind him.

Just like in the past, the season started with the auditions. Artists gave short performances in front of the three judges, and if two of the three voted in their favor, they got a golden ticket to the show’s Hollywood Week, where the competition really heats up. The showrunner for this season previously stated that the show would not intentionally show bad auditions this year.

The first artist who auditioned for season 16 was 17-year-old Catie Turner. “I'm not popular,” she said heading into her audition. After Perry asked her if she writes her own songs, Turner opted to sing an original called “21st Century Machine.” She played guitar and had an indie singer-songwriter vibe. Perry thought it was a very well written song. “I love the sound of your voice,” Richie said, comparing Turner to a martian. Turner got the first golden ticket of the season.