'American Idol' Exec Producer 'Pleased' With 15-Year-Old Contestants

'They were mature, sang brilliantly and were just grateful for the opportunity of being allowed in the room,' Nigel Lythgoe tells MTV News.

On Wednesday night's premiere of "American Idol" 's, 10th — and, some say, most important — season, viewers not only got their first glimpse of new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, but also some of the show's much-discussed new rules too.

Like, for example, the newly lowered age requirement, which, for the first time, allows 15-year-olds to audition. And on last night's show, it gave us hopefuls like the perky Kenzie Palmer, who made it through to Hollywood (thanks in no small part to Lopez). Of course, Palmer's success was what the "Idol" team probably had in mind when they instigated the change — but, as executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told MTV News, things haven't necessarily worked out according to plan.

"I think that the one change that I'm most excited about is opening it up to 15-year-olds. And when I heard about it, I wasn't too happy about it, because I thought, 'We're going to get a bunch of immature kids come in and cry their eyes out when they're kicked out,' " he said. "And whereas I was partly right, the majority of the kids were absolutely fabulous, and you'd never guess they were 15. They were mature, sang brilliantly and were just grateful for the opportunity of being allowed in the room."

And, much like Palmer, there's still plenty of those 15-year-olds who are making noise on the show.

"[I'm] very pleased with them," he said, "and quite a few of them are still there."

Are you excited or wary of the lowered age requirement? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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