'American Idol' Auditions Contestants in Front of New Judges (Video)

Monday, 07 Oct 2013 12:41 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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"American Idol" auditions are underway for the show's 13th year after disappointing ratings last season and in-house bickering amongst the judging panel forced "Idol" to revamp itself.

Fans of the long-running competitive singing reality show can expect to see host Ryan Seacrest as usual, but that's about the only thing that's the same.

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Last season's newcomer judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — who engaged in a season-long catfight — are out. Country star Keith Urban will stay on and be joined by singer Harry Connick Jr., and Jennifer Lopez, who judged Season 11 in 2012.

Randy Jackson, who was the only remaining original judge on the panel, will now serve as the in-house mentor for the singers, replacing record exec Jimmy Iovine.

The new judging panel appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" last week to promo the new season.

Lopez explained to DeGeneres — a one-time "Idol" judge herself — the decision to return to "American Idol."

"It was actually a difficult decision because I had a lot of stuff going on," Lopez said. "To be really honest, I just love the show and I love working with the singers. I love the family here. This is working really great. We're having a great time."

Seacrest opened up about what it's like being the show's staple.

"It's great. I love this show. It's been such a part of my life forever. I'm so proud of what this show has done over the years,' he said. "I'm excited that we've got a group that just sat together, had lunch, and laughed out loud and told stories and talked about their lives and really get along. And I think people who've watched the show for a long time will enjoy that part of the show when they come back and this is a show that the whole family will be able to watch."

"American Idol" premieres Jan. 15 on Fox.





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