American Idol XIII – Harry Connick Jr Says He Has Nothing In Common with Simon Cowell (VIDEOS)

Host Ryan Seacrest has a message for viewers who abandoned American Idol in the past couple of seasons:

“I will say this to those who have watched the show throughout the years and maybe they didn’t watch last year. I ask them to come back and give it another shot this year,” Seacrest told The Hollywood Reporter Friday on the red carpet at the Z100 Jingle Ball 2013 concert at Madison Square Garden. “The judges are so fun, and they are having such a good time and they get along with each other so well that I think you will see your old American Idol back on the air.”

New judge, Harry Connick Jr., was on the Red Carpet too, and he says the judges have been hard at work searching for a superstar:

“Jen and Keith are really focused and American Idol has a track record of making big stars and there is a reason for that,” he said. “This year is going to get back on track. It got a little bit off last year and it’s got to be about the contestants, and I think all of us are really concerned about finding the best person.”

Connick said that joining the show felt “normal” because he’s “so familiar with it.”

Harry will be a tough judge, but make no mistake, he’s no Simon Cowell:

“Simon and I don’t have a whole lot in common,” he said. “ I think he was fantastic but he’s very different… You can’t tell people that you didn’t like it and not tell them why. And it’s hard to do that if you don’t have a whole lot of background in actually playing an instrument or performing, and that’s what I do. So it’s very easy for me to pull from personal experience as to why people aren’t doing as well as they could and maybe what could help them get to the next level.”

The young contestants (Harry says many of them are between the ages of 15-25) can benefit from the wisdom of the experienced panel.

“A lot of people think –’oh, I’ll work harder, I promise if you put me through.’ What do you mean you are going to work harder? Doing what? Jen knows what to work on, because she is Jennifer Lopez,” he said. “A lot of people think they just want to be a star, but they really don’t want to put in what it takes to get there.

Remember when Harry insisted, in his mentoring session with Amber Holcomb, that she understand the words to “My Funny Valentine”? He said it was nothing compared to some of his early mentors. A tough skin is needed to make it in show business.

“Telling Amber that she needed to learn the lyrics is not being hard at all and what they didn’t show you was the other 40 minutes of that mentoring session,” he said. “If you want to see hard go back in time and watch my teachers and how they talked to me. ‘You should quit–you’re not worth performing You should think about another vocation.’ I was extremely patient and kind with her and she knows it and so does everyone else.

Of course, Harry says the upcoming Season 13 is FULL of great talent. Also fun, as you can see here in the new videos from American Idol. Yet more proof that the judges panel experience has been one big kumbaya fest!

American Idol XIII premieres on FOX January 15.

VIA Hollywood Reporter

Judges Uncensored: Echo

Judges Uncensored: Nervous

Judges Uncensored: Does This Look Weird?

Judges Uncensored: Eye Exam

About mj santilli 32293 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!