Can you believe it’s been sixteen years since American Idol first debuted on TV? Curious viewers were compelled by the concept of finding fresh talent among thousands of ordinary folks and turning one of them into a star.

For many years, the formula has worked. We’ve seen the show turn regular people like you and me into household names. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and Adam Lambert are just of few of the many singers that AI has catapulted into stardom.

Thanks to fans voting at home, it’s been a fun and interactive ride. But things have changed, and not necessarily for the better. If you’ve been keeping up, you know the show has had its fair share of changes – especially in the judges’ seats.

The original trio of surly Simon, quirky Paula, and cool Randy were as entertaining to watch as the contestants. Since then, we’ve seen the likes of J. Lo, Keith Urban, Ellen Degeneres, Steven Tyler, Nicki Minaj, and diva Mariah Carey occupy those chairs. American Idol even went off air for what people thought was for good.

And now it’s back and been revamped with new judges: seasoned musician and industry vet Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry, and country singer Luke Bryan. So far, not a lot of people are feeling the show. The main reason? They think the show is too “meh”, and people aren’t sure of the judges’ dynamics either.

Auditions were a mixture of contestants who were average, eccentric, unrealistic, or truly headed for greatness. According to diehard fans, some of the judges’ critiques have been abstract, dry, or “too nice”.

Before the first episode even aired, there was controversy surrounding longtime host Ryan Seacrest and allegations of sexual misconduct. Then, there was that awkward audition where Katy Perry kissed a boy and thought he would like it. He did not so much.

Earlier this week, some people were not digging her treatment of a girl group who were singing for their spots in the lineup. She pranked them into believing one of them had to be sacrificed in order for the rest to move forward. One girl broke down in tears believing it was true.

It’s only been a couple of weeks and there are nail-biters, painfully awkward interactions, and a scandal or two. If all of that isn’t enough for you, the ratings tell their own story because they have dipped drastically.

And people have been quick to sound off with their feelings on the rebooted program. This tweet really seeks to get to the bottom of the show’s awkwardness:

The judges of American Idol are boring. They lack the chemistry and spontaneity. Everything seems scripted– from their jokes, critiques and their interaction with contestants. I love American Idol but I am not impressed with the judges. They are a far cry from AGT judges.

– @IamIsaidIcrd

Others are not comfortable with how Perry has been acting:

The new American Idol judges are so awkward it ruins the show. And not to mention the fact that Katy Perry sexually harasses majority of the males that audition.

– @haileynihcole26

Even THE SHOW’S HOST isn’t feeling the love for this new season:

That was awkward

– @RyanSeacrest

On top of the online critiques, viewers just aren’t investing as much time as they used to in the show. Some of that could be due to the controversies, dislike for the judges, or just plain old disinterest. American Idol has been seeing stiff competition from The Voice, which is also full of highly talented singers but its format keeps people watching.

These elements don’t take away from the gems on American Idol this year – there is still much talent to be heard. Watch out for people like Dominique, Jurnee, Ada, and songwriter Catie! It is possible things will turn around for the show, but only time will tell.

Are you watching AI this season? What are your thoughts so far on its return? Have you given up on it and why?