‘American Idol’ Season 11 Promo Debuts, Brings The Nice

They’re not even on at the same time of year, but the arms race between “American Idol” and Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” continued on Sunday night when Fox (which airs both shows) unwrapped the first commercial for season 11 of “Idol.”

The show doesn’t return to air until January 22, but three months out producers seem to be sticking with the positive people vibe they explored last year with a revamped judging panel that included newbies Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. For the first time since season seven, the entire panel has returned intact, with veteran old-schooler Randy Jackson getting some serious love as the first face you see in the new ad.

Strutting through a tree-lined park lane, Jackson is surrounded by budding singers, and, despite some ribbing from early “Factor” promos that dinged “Idol” for its shiny, happy attitude, all seems well in “Idol”-ville. The first glimpse of Lopez is of her designer shoes, as the camera pans out and we see more freshly-scrubbed faces singing and busting moves on an Pleasantburg, U.S.A. Hollywood set.

The poppy, acoustic soundtrack (sample lyric, “anything is possible”), soars into lite rock territory when Tyler spots a garage band (in a literal, cul-de-sac garage!) jamming out as he waves them to join his legion of primary color t-shirt-wearing minions. Check the promo out, after the jump!

Decked out in a skinny suit, host Ryan Seacrest has a smile so wide it inspires a Benetton ad-worth of wannabes to toss their aprons aside and quit their jobs for a chance at potential “Idol” fame (or infamy). The four flash mobs come together at the end, with Seacrest turning to the polite horde and asking them, “Are you ready?” as the words “the incredible journey begins” flash on the screen.

Are you excited for the next season of “Idol?”

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