American Idol Season 13 Premiere: Top 10 Highlights & Recap

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Tonight was the season 13 premiere of American Idol. Keith Urban has returned to the show as a judge, along with Jennifer Lopez and newbie Harry Connick, Jr., who brings a little edge to the judges’ panel. Check out a couple of the auditions, stars who were watching the show tonight, the new changes this season, and the episode’s best moments.

1. Detroit Is American Idol’s First Stop

The auditions start off with a clip from Detroit, Michigan. Contestant #45201 gets put into a chamber. The chamber is a new addition to the show, where contestants individually wait right before they meet the judges. In the chamber, the contestant can have one last practice session. In any event, after a light and a buzzer noise goes off, contestant #45201 let leaves the chamber with her guitar and heads into the audition room. Singing “Grenade” by Bruno Mars to the judges, they fall in love with her and give her a ticket to Hollywood.

Following the first audition, the show features a short compilation video taking us around the country seeing different people who are set to audition for the show … This first episode covers Boston, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas.

2. James Earl Is the Burger Flipper Who Didn’t Make It

VideoVideo related to american idol season 13 premiere: top 10 highlights & recap2014-01-15T21:44:22-05:00

Though James Earl entertained the judges with his muttering and corny jokes, his voice didn’t cut it. He made the judges laugh though … Harry Connick, Jr. even said he would want James Earl to open up for his shows … Check out his audition in the above video.

Even with some of the bad auditions, there only seemed to be one contestant who was a little angry with the judges. He even messes up Harry’s name. Check out the new Twitter trend “Tony Connick Jr.” in the below tweet:

3. We Get to Know the Judges

Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez each give you a glimpse into their roles this season. Keith and Harry definitely show that their goofballs together, sharing some sort of bromance. Jlo talks about the magic of the show, being able to change people’s lives. She says she missed the singers the most. What Harry wants this season is for the show to be a “dog fight”, where people at home are on the edge of their seats.

4. Troy From Boston Loves to Twerk

Troy is a spirited guy from Boston who shows off his twerking skills. He tries to persuade Jennifer Lopez to twerk along with him, but she politely declines. Despite that, Troy continues to show off his butt bumping skills. Out of nowhere, he beautifully sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. So, of course, the judges then request that he twerk while he sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while twerking. He happily obliges.

After he leaves, Harry and Keith give each other an enthusiastic high-five.

5. This Is the First Season Contestants Can Use Instruments

Many guitars were used throughout the auditions because this is the first year that contestants are allowed to use instruments in their auditions. Aside from the instruments, some contestants have brought props … For example, cheerleader Stephanie wore her cheerleading uniform and her pom-poms. Plus, after she got her ticket to Hollywood, a group of fellow cheerleaders ran in with their pom-poms to congratulate her.

6. Harry Connick, Jr. Messes With Contestants

Harry Connick, Jr. likes to mess with some of the contestants. To several of them, he pretends he’s saying no when he really is letting them through to Hollywood. He even hands out some sarcasm and straight up insults saying things like:

We live in a world where they have voice-changing software and you could really use it.

Ouch! But even with the disses, Harry has a like-ability about him, is entertaining, and isn’t too bad to look at either. As much as he disses, he spreads love too. One contestant who is a sincere fan of Harry’s, tells him that he reads his Wikipedia page every night before he goes to sleep. With that, Harry runs over to the skinny boy and hugs him while holding him in the air. It’s very awkward but funny. Harry then promises to hold the teen like a baby while he sings a second song if his voice is good enough during the first song.

Of course, the boy’s voice is fantastic and Harry is forced to cradle the boy as he serenades his idol.

7. Contestants Actually Receive Golden Tickets This Year

Instead of just a piece of yellow paper or something dull like that, which is usually what they give out, American Idol has gotten a little classier with their tickets to Hollywood. Kind of like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, winners receive actual golden tickets.

8. The Show Cut Down on the Bad Contestants

While some viewers are happy to see less of the “joke” contestants, others mainly watch American Idol for the funny auditions. Do you think that American Idol should bring back some of the crazy singers?

9. American Idol Is Already Bringing Fame to Contestants

The boy with the treble clef tattoo and the fantastic voice is already gaining notoriety online after a fantastic performance. Not only is his name trending on Twitter, but the song he sang has its own hashtag, #LegoHouse, blowing up.

10. Former Contestants Watched the Premiere

American Idol has changed the lives of so many people and no matter how big the stars have gotten or haven’t gotten, they still look back and remember where they came from.