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OCT
28
3 YEARS

'American Idol' Judges Will Be 'Tougher' Next Season, Says Jennifer Lopez

The trio, which also includes Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, are already hard at work searching for a new crop of contenders.

Jennifer Lopez
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

American Idol worshippers still have a few months to wait until the series’ season 11 return, but rest assured that Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson are already hard at work selecting a new crop of contenders to bring to Hollywood. Following Lopez and Tyler’s rookie season, the trio has upped the ante.

VIDEO: First 'American Idol' Season 11 Promo Airs During World Series

“We’re a little tougher on everybody,” Lopez told People. “Because of last season and the standard that we set, it’s easy to go, ‘Is he as good as even our top 24 from last year?’”

While not everyone can make the cut, the Fox series will once again be a platform for several “amazing” voices.

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“It’s not like you find people just like that, but the ones that we found, we know are very special,” Lopez said.

Season 10 victor Scotty McCreery made history with his debut album, Clear as Day. The 18-year-old topped the Billboard 200 in its first week, making McCreery the youngest male artist to do so. He is also the first Idol champ since Ruben Studdard in 2003 – and third overall – to debut at No. 1 on the chart with their first release.

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Runner-up Lauren Alaina debuted her first album, Wildflower, the following week, moving 69,000 units and securing the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200.

To see what season 11 will bring, tune in on Jan. 22.