'American Idol' Season 13 premiere: Harry Connick Jr.'s debut, what did you think?

American Idol
Thu 1/16 8:00 PM EDT (FOX)
The Iron Giant
Fri 1/17 2:05 PM EDT (HBOFamily)

"American Idol" has a new look for Season 13, with Keith Urban as the only judge back from the previous year, but also the return of Jennifer Lopez and the debut of Harry Connick Jr.

We've been excited about this panel since it was announced. We thought Connick Jr. would have been a great replacement three years ago when Simon Cowell left, so it's terrific to see him finally have a seat at the table.

The first audition episode was nearly perfect -- very few of the ridiculous auditions that feel like such a waste of time, many great singers and a judges panel that seemed helpful and like they enjoy one another.

Our only real criticism is that there was one audition near the end, Madelyn Patterson from Georgia, who sang "Up to the Mountain." Connick Jr. really wanted to give her some advice, but he was kind of shouted down by J-Lo's enthusiasm for the girl.

We hope this does not portend Connick Jr. wanting to mentor but not being able to. He's a great mentor. He has done wonderful things with the contestants both times he's been a mentor for "Idol," and we hope he'll do what he can to offer advice as a judge because he really brings an unparalleled knowledge of music and its technical aspects to the judges' table.

Anyway, we wanted to hear what HCJ had to say to young Madelyn and were disappointed he didn't get to. But overall, the premiere episode left us highly optimistic for this season, especially since it provided plenty of laughs. Here are a few of the best lines from the night:

Keith: "I would like to see some 'Over the Rainbow' while twerking."

To a 15-year-old auditionee who sings "Paris (Ooh La La)":
HCJ: "I think it's important as an artist to figure out the songs that are right for you. In your case specifically, songs that are age-appropriate, because hearing you sing about shaving me smooth really was creepin' me out."

There's an ongoing joke about how many, many of the singers have no idea who Harry Connick Jr. is:

Keith: "So Harry, what were you doing the other day?"
HCJ: "Well, I went to the bar and got drunk 'cause nobody knows who I am."

Singer: "I've never been this close to celebrities before."
HCJ: "Neither have I."

Singer: "You're Harry Connick Jr.!"
HCJ: "No, I'm Chris Isaak. 'Wicked Game'?"

HCJ: "I'm actually the biggest celebrity here, which is why I'm a hologram. I'm at home in my bed right now."

To the one singer who is a huge Harry Connick Jr. fan:
HCJ: "If you blow us away on the first song, I'd like to pick you up and hold you like a baby on the second."
Keith: "That is a weird incentive."

What did you think of the "American Idol" Season 13 premiere?

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