American Idol returns in a few weeks and at their TCA panel discussion the judges and producers discussed ways to take back the show to what is was- the best reality talent search on TV. Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban are back as judges and Harry Connick Jr. joins the panel. Randy Jackson is now the advisor and there's a new set of producers. Will it beat The Voice when it comes to ratings? Possibly. But then The Voice has never actually produced a star, so Idol still has the edge. But it's sadly losing it.
YahooTV! was at the panel and here are is the 10 point plan to fix American Idol
1. Cut out the quarreling. No one enjoyed seeing those Real Housewives of Idol, Nicki and Mariah, side-eye each other across the judging table or threaten each other with Q-Tips last season. The tension was thicker than Ryan Seacrest's copiously gelled hair, and it was no fun. But this season, returning judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban and new cast member Harry Connick, Jr. are total besties, sharing an easy-breezy chemistry that was glaringly missing from last year's disastrous panel. And there's even a beautiful bromance brewing between Keith and Harry that rivals the one between "The Voice's" Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. (Seriously, I don't think they'll let J.Lo sit in between them for long.) It's all about good vibes this year, and that should make for good TV.
3. Make the show a very Harry situation. Idol's new recruit, Harry Connick, Jr., is tough ("I have to be honest — to send someone out of the room crying is a terrible feeling, but if it's the right thing to say, I think you have to say it," he's explained), he's wildly funny, and he's genuinely smart, peppering his critiques with musical lessons about the pentatonic scale and whatnot. ("What's wrong with challenging America?" he says — a question probably no one on "Idol" has ever thought to ask before.) Harry might turn out to be the best Idol judge since Simon Cowell. He may frequently joke about his relative lack of celebrity status, but really, Idol needs Harry more than Harry needs Idol right now.
4. Celebrate the guitar heroes. Season 12 was a bizarrely guitar-phobic season; in a transparent attempt to avoid crowning a sixth guy-with-guitar, the show's powers-that-be all but banned six-string-slingers from the show. This left "Idol's" core audience without a David Cook, a Phillip Phillips, or even a Lee DeWyze to root for, and that undoubtedly contributed to the show's ratings dip. So producers have made "Idol" a guitar-friendly zone again… so friendly that, in an "Idol" first, hopefuls can even bring guitars into the audition room.
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