'American Idol' return is a big hit

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS — Episode 655

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS — Episode 655

After two years off the air, American Idol made its return on Sunday night, airing on ABC instead of its original network, Fox. "Music is over, relationships are over, '" Francisco recalled. After much therapy and struggling, he can now walk with crutches. "I stand by him", said Frot-Coutaz.

The rest of the night ambles along at a familiar pace, as we're mostly introduced to decent singers like bespectacled goofball Catie Turner from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, who refers to the boom mic above her as a "corn cob" and laments, "What if Katy Perry thinks I'm unusual?" "I can't take it down, dumba****", she said while walking out of the audition. She's going to Hollywood. He has an emotional backstory, but fails to immediately wow Perry and Richie with his rendition of James Bay's "Let It Go".

Similarly, 16-year-old Kentucky waitress Layla Spring also makes the cut, but not before Lionel warns her, "I don't want to give you that opportunity and then you get [to Hollywood] and it destroys you".

Lane Hardy, 17, Livingston, LA: A true country boy, he sang "Hurricane" by Band of Heathens and won the judges over with his soulful, gritty style. They also learned about Perry's secret talent of imitating a frog, saw Bryan tune a contestant's guitar, and heard Richie's alpaca trauma. Perry said his presentation felt a bit "rushed", and added "maybe that's because I sped up your BPM". The judges are blown away and he gets his golden ticket.

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Brandon Diaz, 21, Ashburn, VA: His father emigrated to Cuba as a child and taught Brandon everything he knows about singing. They complied, but Katy slipped and fell. Nor has the show lost its penchant for heavy-handed inspiration, opening with a five-minute long, cross-country montage - narrated by Underwood herself - recounting Idol's history of discovering everyone from "the dreamers to the lullaby singers". Michelle still got a ticket to Hollywood, though.

But when he belted out "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, the judges were amazed by the depth of his sound and the richness in his voice. But it was his day job that had the judges fascinated. "What if they're missing a toe?" inquired Katy. The judges never put down people who came down to auditions. All three judges agreed to send her to Hollywood. And Lionel hugged her. Ryan Seacrest returned as the host of the series.

And some of the no's.

Alyssa Raghu is only 15, but Katy Perry has already proclaimed her as "Top 10" for the season. It was a no.

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