'American Idol' returns with Katy Perry kissing a boy and with a contestant's redemption

Nick Paschal
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

American Idol returned after a two-year hiatus with a few notable changes, but it was still the same old Idol. Other than airing on ABC instead of Fox and new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, American Idol feels like the show we knew and loved.

Sure, Perry smooched a guy who said he had never kissed a girl and danced with a 17-year-old as he sang, “The Way You Look Tonight,” but the show really focused on the singers. And unlike the old days of American Idol, they are focused on talented singers. But a lack of William Hung-type contestants doesn’t mean there are no interesting characters.

The talent level was pretty high during the premiere, although one contestant didn’t start out on a high note. Sixteen-year-old Harper Grace is known for her viral video of one of the worst performances of the national anthem, but she got some redemption during her Idol audition. After impressing the judges with a rendition of an original song, she impressed them even more by doing Khalid’s ”Young, Dumb & Broke.” That earned her three yeses. “I really do feel like I redeemed myself from that awful performance,” Harper said of her anthem disaster.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of American Idol for free on Yahoo View.

Watch P. Diddy throw shade at The Voice and American Idol in series premiere of The Four:

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