“What will it take? The same things we did this year,” Richie told reporters following Sunday’s finale when asked about offers made to the trio to return for the show’s third season on ABC. “I’ve got the greatest three personalities ever. Now, when I started out with this group, I was a bit worried. I kept telling America, ‘Pray for me.’ But now that I know who everybody is and their characters, oh my god, I would not do another show without ’em.”
“We’ve had an amazing two years,” Bryan added. “When you just look at the overall approach, we had a clearer vision, we developed our identities and roles, and we want to keep that going. We’re proud of what people are at home watching…. I know Lionel is getting it, and Katy — when we’re walking down the street and somebody comes up and says, ‘We love the way y’all are treating these kids on American Idol,’ it feels really, really great.”
Perry noted that the three were definitely more on the same page with each other this season than their first together, “even with the American public as the votes were coming in, so it feels good that we’re really getting to know each other.”
ABC renewed the singing competition reboot earlier this month for a third season, its 18th overall. While the future of the show is sure, that of host Ryan Seacrest and the judges is not; offers have been made and a source close to the production says the network hopes all of the talent will return. There is also no timing regarding an announcement, EW has learned, meaning those negotiations could take a while. This season, the show saw week over week ratings growth and was regularly No. 1 in the coveted 18-49 demographic, especially once it switched to a once-a-week, live coast-to-coast broadcast every Sunday after the talent was narrowed down to the Top 10; the votes were tallied during the final commercial break and two people (unless the judges used their one and only save) were eliminated at the end of the episode.
Louisiana native Laine Hardy was crowned the latest American Idol winner Sunday night, beating out Alejandro Aranda and Madison VanDenburg for the title. Hardy was a contestant on the first season at ABC but was eliminated prior to making the Top 24; he didn’t even intend to be on the show a second time, but when he accompanied a friend to her audition, the judges talked him into taking a golden ticket to Hollywood.
“This is the best master class you’ll take. When the teachers tell you you’re not ready yet, it does not mean your career’s over; it just means you’re not ready,” Richie said. “Laine’s the perfect example of, he came back, and this time he was ready.”
“It must be not very easy for these kids, psychologically, to get rejected,” Perry added. “I don’t know if they put that much weight into the rejection or not. Most artists create out of pain in general, so to add a public vote as a way of rejection and acceptance, it’s a minefield.”
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