This year’s panel of judges includes Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. While Jennifer Lopez is a key component for the show’s classy, contemporary status, Harry Connick Jr. is the new star. His musical knowledge is immediately apparent, and he’s less inclined to favor the vocal acrobatics that has become the show’s enduring staple. Plus, it sure is nice to rid American Idol of Randy Jackson’s infamous “pitchy” critique. This is a singing competition, and it finally feels as if the judges have something to offer the contestants. To see their chemistry in action, watch the judges on Ellen below.
It takes a sharp eye to discover the subtle changes in this season’s American Idol, but it’s enough to elevate the show to its former powerhouse status. For years, the show felt dated. It felt as if the producers were stuck in time, and they rested on their laurels in an attempt to use nostalgia as edge over it’s competitors. Its only attempt at redirection was the Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj experimental panel, and we all know how that ended. But this time, they got it right.