In the words of Kelly Ripa,“I am happy to confirm that Ryan Seacrest is returning of the host of American Idol! … Wait. Let me try that one more time. Ryan Seacrest is returning as the host of American Idol!”

That’s right, Idol fans. Perhaps, she, too, has been experiencing the trauma many Americans have been saddled with since the ratings-giant-of-a-series came to an end last year. But what went down on Thursday at Disney Springs should stir a deafening scream from any hairbrush singer, because the search for #TheNextIdol is finally underway in anticipation of the show's 2018 ABC reboot.

Hundreds of fame-seekers turned up hours before the sun was certain to rise in the East just to have their few moments in front of the judges. For some, the audition was a chance to fulfill a childhood dream, having been too young to audition during the show’s initial run. For others, this was a second chance to prove their previous audition experiences wrong. But, for one family, it was an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their idols.

American Idol makes household names. That’s just what they do… even for the losers,” a mother admitted, having driven her family all the way down from Atlanta, Georgia just for the day. Well, thankfully for them, former winners, Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks, and Kris Allen, stopped by to kick off the audition tour alongside Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The search for #TheNextIdol is slated to continue well into the Fall with the tour bus pulling into several cities across the country. However, if you live in the Central Florida area, you still have a chance at owning the spotlight, because hopefuls will be able to submit a video of themselves at the American Idol pop-up audition kiosk, located right in Disney Springs, until September 15th. Visit for more information, including specific audition details, locations, full eligibility requirements and more.

Stay tuned right here at to learn who the new judges will be, when the reboot will premiere, and, ultimately, who is #TheNextIdol. As one potential contestant put it, Idolis gonna make me a legit social media legend.” We will all be watching.

Charlie Zicari
After high school, Charlie moved from Middle-of-Nowhere, Kentucky to the bright lights of New York City in order to pursue a career in storytelling and has been fortunate to work on a number of high-profile projects ever since, including companies such as Disney Theatricals, “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” Second Stage Theatre, Lincoln Center for the Arts, and more. More recently, he worked as the Executive Assistant and Resident Dramaturg to Tony Award-nominated Broadway Director, Jeff Calhoun. Together, they’ve collaborated on numerous Broadway, International, and Regional productions, including “Disney’s Newsies,” Jodi Picoult’s “Between the Lines,” Stephen King and John Mellencamp’s “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” — just to name a few. Charlie currently resides in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Briana, where he is developing “Hedges” and other screenwriting projects with Joey Tuccio at Roadmap Writers, as well as contributing articles and blogs to various (Disney-related) online platforms, including