The new season of American Idol starts this week.
American Idol's two-night season premiere is this Wednesday and Thursday January 15 & 16 on FOX.

Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban return as judges. Harry Connick Jr. of New Orleans is new to the judges table. He's been a mentor before, but he says judging is a whole different thing.

“You don't really have the intensity of the interaction, but you get to share your views with a lot more people and try to help them develop their talent. It just felt like a natural thing to do. Plus, I love television, I love being in front of an audience, and I love talking about music.” Harry admist that he and his wife "have watched the show since the very first episode – and we've watched it every year since – we're big fans."

Harry loves working closely with the other two judges on the panel, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. “I really love being up there with them. They're extremely bright people, highly successful, have very strong work ethics and very strong convictions about what they do, and they're the best in the business at their respective jobs. We're completely different. We're different brains, different personalities, different philosophies.”

Even though Jennifer and Keith have been on the show before, Harry reminded us, “It's a new show now. It has different producers, different directors, a different panel, and different contestants. It has a new look. It has a new feel, and it's a new day for this great show.”