New 'American Idol' Will Be 'More Compassionate,' Judges Reveal

The new American Idol reboot will not only feature three fresh faces behind the judges' table, but it will also take on singers with comments that come from the heart.

Pop star Katy Perry, country singer Luke Bryan and musical icon Lionel Richie have been tasked with taking on the beloved reality competition's reboot, but they won't be recreating the snark of OG judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

"It's very constructive criticism," Perry told PEOPLE of her judging style Sunday. "Personally, I'm a straight shooter. I'm very cut and dry sometimes. You know it seems a little not soft — I do try and watch myself because I do know how it feels to be in their shoes. I was in their shoes 10 years ago. I remind myself and I'm reminded and I'm inspired by all of their stories. I know it wasn't an overnight success for me; it's not going to be for them. They still have a long way to go. We're really real with them."

"We really encourage them," she added. "There's no dismissing and just sending off and saying, 'You suck.' That's not how we roll. I think in the past there was some of that and maybe taking advantage of people; their actual skill sets for comedy. We don't do that anymore but we still laugh just as much."

During an October interview on Good Morning America, the judges opened up about working on the American Idol reboot, and discussed what they were planning to look for on their journey to find undiscovered talent.

"There's still talent out there to be discovered," said Perry. "There are still stars and diamonds in the rough and I think the great American Dream — we can revive that in a way and show people that if they have the talent, if they work really hard … maybe we can give them a little platform to just shine."

And while they have a definite different judging styles, all the new stars of the show can agree they're looking for passion.

"We're compassionate at times," Bryan said. "When we're not compassionate, we get emotional. We get wrapped up in their stories. We have moments where we're softies."

"We're our individual selves too," Richie added. "When we see a contestant that we really believe in, we fight for them. We're talking each other into other things. This is the part you don't see. This conversations we're having right now this is how long it takes us to agree on contestants because we're very passionate."

American Idol premieres Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.


Photo credit: ABC