17 January 2013 7:10 PM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Ladies and gentlemen, start your Kleenex.

Indeed, 12 seasons in, the giant onion that is American Idol hasn’t lost an ounce of potency. Sit with it long enough — breathe in its swelling strings and its harrowing backstories and its humble notion that, with the right melody, the misfits and outsiders and scrappers of the world can make like Kelly Clarkson and have their very own “moment like this” — and eventually, you’ll be succumbing to the urge to ugly cry on your couch.

To put it another way: Nigel Lythgoe, 1; America’s tear ducts, 0.

Related | American Idol: Fox’s Mike Darnell Talks Unlimited Voting, »

- Michael Slezak

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