American Idol Season Premiere: Harry Connick Jr. FTW!

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American Idol is a singing show that comes down to its contestants.

That's what we're told year after year by producers, but we came away from last night's Season 13 premiere with one thoughts:

HARRY CONNICK JR. IS THE MAN!

The new judge was harsh and honest when he needed to be. But also a total jokester throughout, most notable when he cradled Munfarid Zaidi in his arms (below) during the hopeful's audition.

Ah yes, there were plenty of auditions.

Some boring, others terrible yet entertaining. But who stood out among the opening crop of contestants over two hours?

Here's a rundown of our favorite five, in no particular order. Could the next American Idol be among them?!?

  • Muhfarid Zandi - Forget that he performed in Harry's arms for a minute and focus on his voice. Pretty darn good, right?
  • Kaitlyn Jackson - Sang an original song titled “Another Angel," which was based on a personal, up-close brush with death. “She’s smart!” said Harry. “It’ll be fun watching her week to week.” Agreed.
  • Jillian Jensen - Appeared on Season 2 of The X Factor. Displayed terrific vocal control here, clearly having gained confidence from her previous reality show appearance.
  • Sam Woolf - The 17-year old lives with his grandparents and sang "Lego House." And we all know how much Idol viewers love white guys with guitars...
  • Malcolm Allen - What a great cover of Stevie Wonder's “Superstition," not an easy track to sing. He even tossed some air guitar. A great job all around.

What did you think of the season 13 opener? Who was your favorite contestant? Is there hope for this group of judges/

Go watch American Idol online to relive the two hours and grade the new panel below:


 

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]