‘American Idol’ reboot abandons best part of the show


Swaying awkwardly, in an Alfalfa-chic hairdo and patterned, button-down shirt, William Hung stood before the judges on “American Idol” and destroyed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.” Absolutely killed it.

“That was musical murder,” Simon Cowell told him.

Hung’s straight-faced reply? “I have no professional training in singing.”

You don’t say. Nonsingers making a go of it on the original “Idol” were the best part of the show. Watching the competition was a long haul; listening to the Sanjayas of the world missing every note of a song made it more bearable — kitsch entertainment at its most unpredictable.

Now ABC is trying to take all the fun out of “American Idol” and I’m here to say, “‘Stop!” The reboot of one of the most popular shows in the history of the medium debuts on March 11, with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie on the prowl to find the next Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. But executive producer Trish ­Kinane said this week that the new “Idol” wouldn’t feature the “bad” auditions.

“One of the key things about the show is it shouldn’t feel manipulated or fake because 15 years ago, nobody had ever seen it and it was funny,” Kinane said. “Viewers know now. They’ve all watched all these shows in 15 years, and it doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up and laugh at them.”

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