It’s finally here, you guys! American Idol returns tonight (January 15) with a two-hour premiere that promises to have all the reality music magic we could hope for (and probably physically handle).
To kick off this latest tour of the United States we’ll be seeing the likes of Boston and Salt Lake City as well as scenic San Francisco and Hotlanta.
Joining us on this year’s journey is brand new judge Harry Connick Jr. Our make-believe husband joins in on the judging fun with fellow superstars Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, who know their way around a golden ticket. Ryan Seacrest might also pop up occasionally. He has a tendency to do that.
After 12 previous seasons of American Idol auditions we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from tonight’s festivities: plenty of musical duds, more than a fair share of loonies, and, maybe if we’re lucky, a few stars shining through the crazy. Granted, this is the first of five nights of auditions this year so we doubt Fox will show us too big a hit anytime soon.
8:03 PM EST: Our first auditioner comes from Detroit — and looks like the forbidden love child of Miley Cyrus and Beyoncé — wrecking ball not included. Marrialle Sellars, you're going to Hollywood!
8:07 PM EST: Just a side note on the judges before the auditions really kick into gear: We can't look at Harry without seeing him as Debra Messing's husband on Will and Grace. He'll be a good judge, but we're just saying.
8:11 PM EST: We're starting off in Boston this year with Troy the Twerker — we feel like we're going to remember you. And J.Lo was totally lying when she said she doesn't twerk.
8:17 PM EST: Something new to Idol this year? The Chamber, a tiny room (that reminds us of the Chokey in Matilda) where contestants have to sweat it out before their audition. As if they weren't intimidated enough already! As crazy as some of the people who audition for the show are, we've gotta hand it to them: they've got guts.
8:24 PM EST: Taylor Hildack, you say what we're all thinking about Ryan Freakin' Seacrest. Can we just make him King already or something?
8:28 PM EST: Okay, we like Stephanie Hanvey. The judges are right, she does need to work on her vocals, but the kid's got stage presence. She's 16. She's got time! So is she through or not?! Ugh, commercial break.
8:34 PM EST: SHE'S THROUGH! Oh my gosh, we want to cry as hard as Stephanie is.
8:40 PM EST: Can we talk about the look on Keith's face the entire time Cool Guy James Earl was performing?
8:47 PM EST: Harry is ready to challenge America. He can teach us about music all. Day. Long.
8:49 PM EST: Austin Percario, it is love at first sight. How cute is this guy?! He totally looks like he'd be friends with One Direction.
8:59 PM EST: LOVING Keith London's rendition of "Roar." Katy Perry would be proud!
9:01 PM EST: Sam Atherton sings about as well as someone would who insists that now that he knows how to sing and play guitar, he no longer needs to practice. At least he wasn't offended when "Tony Connick Jr" didn't give him a Golden Ticket.
9:10 PM EST: A GIF of Seacrest tumbling through the chairs in the waiting room, please. STAT.
9:13 PM EST: Stephanie Petronelli, we understand you're a Patriots cheerleader, but we cannot handle those boots. At all. Voice isn't bad, but the boots are awful.
9:21 PM EST: Now, we're moving on to Austin, Texas. How jealous are we of those random women who got to smell Harry?
9:27 PM EST: Officially the first time we've been blown away tonight: Savion Wright. This kid knows exactly what he's doing. Watch out, fellow contestants! That said, as much as want to call this kid the next American Idol, our sources say otherwise...
9:38 PM EST: Lesson of the day: When Harry has advice for you, you'd better listen. He's not going to say it twice!
9:45 PM EST: We can't play any type of musical instrument or sing (when anyone's listening, anyway...) but these jam sessions the people auditioning for Idol have while they wait to be called look like the best things ever. We wanna join!
9:51 PM EST: J.Lo, don't even pretend you aren't loving someone crying over how beautiful you are. You say "don't cry," but you really mean "please, continue crying over how magnificent I am."
9:55 PM EST: Finally someone is here to see Harry Connick, Jr! Who is worthy of being called by his full name in our book, BTW.
9:57 PM EST: Harry cradling people: can we make this a thing all season long?
10:00 PM EST: Aaaand that's a wrap! Tune in tomorrow night. Same time, same place. See you there? And if you can't wait to learn who makes it, head on over to our spoiler list of the rumored Top 31 contestants. Did we mention spoilers?