A new competition starts with new participants who come in trying to persuade the judges by their voices. Judges have to choose twelve finalists who will compete against each other, one of them will leave at every episode until the final episode when the winner is here.
This new show doesn't come at you like the aggressive, pointedly grandiose hit that it used to be. But at a time when real-life events have left audiences hungry for familiar, soothing television, ABC's version of American Idol just might fit that bill.
You might not see this coming from the network that only this week broadcast the footage of a woman being dumped by her fiancé on The Bachelor, but ABC's Idol looks to be a kinder, gentler version than Fox's.
With a salary of $20 million and, Perry didn't seem like the best person to save American Idol from ratings oblivion. She is, though. On Sunday's premiere episode, Perry - every glittered inch of her - is working for her $20 million paycheck.
If you liked American Idol in the past, you'll probably like this version, which is, at least so far, virtually unchanged. But did you miss the show? Do you want it back? ABC is betting the answer is "Yes." But I'm not so sure.