• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

'American Idol' Snap Judgement: What to Expect From Season 13

The Fox singing competition unveils raw footage of the Boston auditions for the press, highlighting the chemistry between judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol New Judges - H 2013

For the first time ever, Fox has released raw, unedited footage of the upcoming season of American Idol to the press -- nearly 13 minutes' worth. And while we can't share the snippets with you, Idol Worshippers, we can offer you some hints of what's to come.

PHOTOS: 'American Idol' Judges Past and Present

The package, unveiled last week, includes a sneak peek of American Idol 13's judging panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., the shiny new audition room setup, the revamped look of the famed golden ticket and several intriguing auditions.

One thing is clear: The show is definitely going back to its original mission of shining the spotlight where it belongs -- on emerging new talent. Also worth noting: The chemistry of the panel is undeniably positive. All three judges on the extremely photogenic panel complement each other, practically finishing each other's sentences with an ease that was absent from last year's crew. Lopez is comfortably ensconced between her two dashing co-stars, while Urban and Connick are seemingly enjoying somewhat of a bromance.

A major positive so far is the addition of Connick, who is diving into his new job with enthusiasm and wit.

"The idea of being part of the discovery process with these young entertainers is really exciting," he said in the clip. "It's the biggest format for young artists. It attracts the greatest talent. There is no other show on television that has such a roster of success."

PHOTOS: A Day in the Life of 'Idol' Music Director Ray Chew

The judges' chemistry is evident, and they seem to be genuinely enjoying each other's company as they evaluate the young hopefuls -- including one named Troy, who twerks while singing "Over the Rainbow."

"Do you twerk, J.Lo?" he asks.

"I'm not much of a twerker these days," she quips back.

However, Lopez is game as she encourages the boy's audition, and as they put him through, she gently gives him advice.

"I want everybody to take you seriously," she tells him. "You might twerk on it a little bit more."

Not missing a beat, Connick chimes in with his own puns, and the tone is immediately set for what looks to be a very fun season.

Worth noting: three white guys with guitars. One in a wheelchair, one who threatens to do an original, and a 17-year-old troubadour named Sam who delivers a beautiful -- albeit rushed -- version of "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran.

As for the toughest judge? That would be Connick. One contestant told the new judge that the word on the street was that he was "harsh."

American Idol returns in January.

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile