I’m loving “American Idol” and couldn’t be more happy with ABC’s reboot of the talent show juggernaut. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan have done a stellar job judging the hopefuls.

It’s a major risk to try to capture the magic that once was “American Idol.” I’m not sure it will ever be what it once was, but I’m excited about the possibilities. Talent making it through to “Hollywood Week” is some of the best the show has had, and that’s saying a lot.

Ratings dipped the second night of the premiere. “Idol” was in direct competition with NBC’s “The Voice” the second night. “The Voice” returned with Kelly Clarkson sitting in one of the coaches’ chairs, an exciting development for “Idol” fanatics. Clarkson was the first “American Idol” winner and has had an extremely successful career since then.

The main difference between “The Voice” and “American Idol” is that “American Idol” made stars out of many of its participants. In addition to Clarkson, the list includes Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Josh Gracin, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler. Several proved you didn’t have to win to actually “win.” Aiken was the first non-winner to embark on an impressive music career.

Can we say the same for participants on “The Voice”? You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a list of stars to emerge from the show. Danielle Bradbury, Chris Mann, Cassadee Pope ... maybe The Swon Brothers. They didn’t get far after the lights and glam of the show were over.

That’s why I’ll continue to stay on board with Idol. I feel like my time invested in watching sort of pays off when I hear someone I saw grow each week make it to radio.

“Idol” has not been without scandal this season, as unfounded allegations surfaced regarding host Ryan Seacrest. I could be wrong, but it seems Seacrest didn’t have as much screen during auditions as he did in prior years. Perhaps producers opted to not show as much of him as allegations dissipated. Again, that’s only an assumption.

Perry’s trick-kiss with a contestant who claimed he had never kissed a girl before made news for being “inappropriate.” Some people chastised her for what was an innocent moment taken out of context. No harm was meant. He just might not be a fan of her first hit, “I Kissed A Girl.“

Luke Bryan has been fun to watch and serves a nice balance to Perry.

As for Lionel Richie: He’s awesome. He’s the whole package and a joy to watch. “Idol” has needed someone of his caliber for a long time.

So, are you Team Idol or Team Voice? You know where I stand.
— David T. Farr can be reached at farrboy@hotmail.com. You also can find The Farr Side on Facebook.