‘American Idol’ TCA Panel: Our Top Five Season 10 Discoveries

Ryan Seacrest and the newbie judges talk 'Idol' at Television Critics Association event, and we got the dish.

It’s hard to believe we’re just one week from the season 10 premiere of “American Idol.” Seems like just yesterday Lee DeWyze was crowned champion, Simon Cowell bid viewers a tearful goodbye and Fox took to cleaning house on the judges panel.

Ellen DeGeneres left, Kara DioGuardi headed for the exit and Randy stayed. And after headline-making debate as to who would replace the newly departed judges, we learned that pop icons Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez would join Jackson.

And a new era of “Idol” was born.

With a nod to that new era, the “Idol” team — host Ryan Seacrest, Jackson, Lopez, Tyler and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe — appeared at the Television Critics Association’s biannual event on Tuesday to talk about the 10th season. While much of the 45-minute TCA press conference was spent discussing things we already knew (changes to the show’s format, the newbie judges’ style), we did get some scoops and narrowed them into a list of our top five favorites.

J.Lo’s Glam-tastic Wardrobe
Although Lopez said she won’t wear anything particularly fancy or have clothing made specifically for the show, the singer’s wardrobe will certainly be a conversation topic this season. Did you see the unique jumper she sported back in September during the official judges’ announcement? It’s a shame her footwear will be concealed behind that panel table.

Steven Tyler Is the New Paula
Steven Tyler will fill the wackiness void left by Paula Abdul. Yes, the Aerosmith frontman has said that he wanted to be on “Idol” because of a viewing of Lopez’s rom-com “The Backup Plan” (he savored the chance to sit next to Lopez). But Tyler’s best moment was in response to a question about whether “Idol” producers would put him on a five-second delay as a precaution for any swear-word slippage. Tyler’s answer? “F— no!”

You Can Count on Randy, Dawg!
In a season rife with change, we can count on veteran Randy to be the reliable, enthusiastic judge we know and love. Although he claimed he’ll bring more heat in season 10 — “A little less yo’s, a little more ‘no’s. You’ll see more hair on the Dawg.” — we’ll have to see it to believe it.

‘Idol’ Songwriters?
The potential train wreck (or genius) that could ensue in allowing contestants to pen original songs will be must-see TV. Executive producer Ken Warwick was quoted saying that everyone was “pleasantly surprised” by two contestants’ efforts in that area thus far.

Simon Says
We will miss Simon Cowell. It’s not that we aren’t already rooting for the new panel, but no one cuts to the chase or brings delusional contestants to their knees quite like Cowell. On the fluffiest, most extravagant talent show in history, his acerbic voice of reason was sometimes the only one worth listening to.

“American Idol” premieres Wednesday, January 19, at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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