American Idol 14: Harry Connick, Jennifer Lopez Talk Talent

The American Idol Season 14 judges round auditions took place in a the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge this week. Adam Lambert subbed for Keith Urban, who is in Australia attending his father-in-law’s funeral.

The press lined up to talk to the trio, but TVLine’s Michael Slezak got the best sound bites. He always asks the important questions! Check out a summary of what Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. had to say about the upcoming season of Idol, below. Adam’s quotes are covered in a separate post HERE.

513432505GG012_American_IdoJennifer Lopez didn’t exactly care for season 13’s arguably cruel “twists.”  I didn’t love it,” said Jennifer when asked about cutting 10 of the Top 30 before they had the opportunity to sing, and forcing the Top 5 to vote whether or not to eliminate the lowest vote getter, “I was like, ‘First of all they need extra time on [a smaller] stage before they get to this point!’ Last year, the contestants were thrown into the fire, and I felt like it wasn’t even at Top 12, but maybe three or four weeks after that, before they settled. I want to have the middle rounds, I want them to have their time to adjust to this craziness. It’s like putting the first 10 years of my career in four weeks. I wouldn’t want that.”

“Our job is not to pick the winner, our job is to pick a pool of people who we feel could actually have that career,” Jennifer explained about the panel’s goals, ” That process is a tough process ’cause we’re looking at the whole package — everything it takes to be a recording star. You think about Phillip Phillips or Scotty [McCreery], and they’re real artists, not just singers. That’s what we’re looking for.”

However, as Harry Connick Jr. has already mentioned in a recent interview, he’s adjusting his judging criteria . “We’re not putting people through based on, ‘Maybe in a few weeks they’ll really get into it.’ There’s no time for that. That’s not what this show is,” he said. “But I don’t know if it’s about coming in more polished, as opposed to coming in with a greater wealth of talent. We’ve seen people who are really raw, but you can tell when the bright lights go on them, they’re going to be able to bring it.”

He’s also wondering if last year’s contestants were challenged properly. Allowing them to sing songs from their own repertoire week after week didn’t give them the opportunity to grow, “I was telling Adam yesterday that the reason I like Hollywood Week so much is that it forces you so far out of your comfort zone, and as you know, being in show business, you’re required to do so many things that feel uncomfortable in so many ways,” Harry continued. “It’s not like we’re looking to see how well they sing in Hollywood Week, but how well they deal with being out of their comfort zones. Maybe having a few things be completely out of left field [in Season 14] would be cool.”

Check out the full interview at TV Line

About mj santilli 33689 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. I have to say it again.
    JLo and Harry have such fantastic chemistry together. Sparks!

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  3. What both judges are saying is what I’ve thought has been a problem the past few years. I agree with what Jlo said about the middle rounds, and that they need more time to adjust to an audience. Also, if there were more middle rounds, contestants would have to be more consistently good, and not just have one or 2 good songs to get through to top 12. I also agree about having contestants that are already more polished or experienced. If they are going to gain fans and really become stars while they are on the show, they have to be good early on.

  4. Harry continued. “It’s not like we’re looking to see how well they sing in Hollywood Week, but how well they deal with being out of their comfort zones. I like when contestants are out of their comfort zone. Let them sings songs by Johnny Cash; British Invasion; Disco songs, etc. By allowing the contestants so much freedom in their choice of songs, especially current ones, takes away the challenge. But then, that’s how I like the game to be played. Idol can allow contestant’s real choices towards the end of the season. Just my 2 cents.

  5. Caleb’s debut album flopped. The pressure is on you three to fix that. Good luck on the new season.

  6. Maybe they can reinstate some of the theme weeks which definitely put contestants out of their comfort zones. I know it caused controversy because it made them sing older songs, which btw are usually more difficult to sing. However, if they have a “rock” week, contestants should not be allowed to sing something else, which has been the norm last few years.

  7. Caleb had been auditioning for a few years. We see it on SYTYCD, too, where apparently the 3rd, 4th, or 5th times a charm. It’s almost like people expect them to go through at a certain point even if they haven’t really grown from previous auditions.. Casey Thrasher is definitely going to get in this year…and that’s more to do with producers who want a “kept trying, never give up” storyline to play out NOT with the judges…

  8. Arguably the best songs, most oft remembered songs, are covers that get people noticed. Carrie’s was Heart’s Alone, David Cook was the Beatles Eleanor Rigby (among others), Fantasia Summertime, Adam’s Mad World…the list is really long that covers with a twist on older songs are really well received on Idol. IMHO it was never about the songs being old it was about the same songs being recycled over and over and over. Old or new I don’t want to hear the same songs every season…

  9. Bingo about the difficulty level of older music…for the most part, anyway.

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