That gave ABC its most-watched Sunday night in more than five years, beating "60 Minutes" on CBS (9.2 million and 8.5 million viewers); NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" (3.6 million) and "Timeless" (2.96 million); and Fox's "O.J".
The new and improved American Idol focuses on talent and the judges seem to have a softer approach than previous years.
But it isn't just the judges who are winning fans over, it's the unparalleled talent that is walking through those famed audition doors, hoping for a golden ticket to Hollywood. The sixteenth season of American Idol kicked off with the three judges critiquing aspiring singers in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Orlando.
As judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan cheered the musician on as he took up his guitar and performed an emotional cover of Stevie Wonder's 1976 classic "Isn't She Lovely" as his lady love stood to the side, watching her fiancé sing.
But their careers didn't end there. Some of the standouts include Catie Turner, Run Bultongez, Maddie Poppe, Harper Grace, Alyssa Raghu and Dennis Lorenzo.
Who was your favorite? The panel applauded his ability to make such music from such a bare but beloved instrument, and his golden ticket capped an unexpectedly moving first night.
"I've never been in a relationship", he said.
But when he belted out "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, the judges were amazed by the depth of his sound and the richness in his voice. He admits to the judges that he's never kissed a girl, and gets knocked for a loop when Perry tricks him into a kiss on the lips.
Watch the unusual American Idol moment below.
The heartfelt performance of the iconic tune had an immediate effect on Perry, who had to fight back tears as Francisco sang.
"I really enjoyed meeting you today", Perry said.
"Throughout the years, meeting Paula Abdul, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Simon, and opening for bigger bands, like Foghat, I've been able to do some really cool things and I'm pretty proud of myself".
"There are incredible voices on the show this year", said Kris Pooley. The GRAMMY victor got up from the judge's table and walked over to Francisco to give him a hug. Just don't forget to cancel your trial if you don't want to get charged $20.