Fresh faces and new place are apparently some of the things offered by "American Idol" this season. Bringing back Jennifer Lopez and adding Harry Connick Jr. to the judging panel, the show reportedly will move the finale to New York City in the upcoming season 13.
The news first circulated on "Idol" blogs. The Hollywood Reporter later confirmed that the two-part finale scheduled to air May 20 and 21 would take place at Madison Square Garden, instead of in Los Angeles as in the past 12 years. FOX has not commented on the rumors.
Met in Hollywood before "Idol" taping, executive producer Trish Kinane explained what would be different on the show this season. Last season, "the chemistry wasn't there," she said, "You want to feel comfortable watching Idol. I think that's what we've got this year. I think a family can watch the show happily together without any tension and with it being a positive, warm experience. The chemistry is here in spades."
The judges, which also included Keith Urban, said their approach would be straightforward, but not harsh. "They've got intrinsic, God-given talent, but they've got all these bad habits," coutry music star Urban said. "A lot of it has to do with people around them that are going, 'You sing great. You write great songs. You play great guitar.' They don't. (But) they might be able to if they just had some people saying, 'You're not there yet, but you can work on this.' "
Though they get along so well, there's a time when they had different opinions. "It happened yesterday," Connick recalled. "I had written a 'Yes' for this one particular person and Jennifer looked at me and ... went totally Bronx for a second. (She's) like, 'Have you lost your mind?' "
"American Idol" season 13 premieres Tuesday, January 14 on FOX. Ryan Seacrest returns as host, while former judge Randy Jackson serves as in-house mentor.